Local police continue charitable traditions

Christmas is less than a week away. Except for a few odds and ends, most people have their holiday preparations in place.

It is vastly different, however, for many local parents that struggle daily to provide life’s necessities for their families, let alone gifts to put under the Christmas tree.

That’s why it’s so vitally important what local agencies and organizations do to help those needy families, all year round, but especially at the holidays.

Despite the verbal and physical attacks that police officers nationwide often experience these days, it has not jaded them from doing their very best to serve their communities.

As in many past years, dozens of officers from almost every local department this year again went out of their way to help brighten the holiday for those who may otherwise face a bleak Christmas.

In recent days, officers representing their unions or police departments took children shopping at area retailers, allowing them to pick out what they wanted for Christmas. Among the local departments that held the annual “Shop with a Cop” program were Lordstown, Kinsman, Niles, Newton Falls and others.

Many gave the children an allotted amount of money to spend on gifts. Sadly, that might be an experience some of these kids may have never had.

But the giving doesn’t stop there.

Lordstown Police officers on Tuesday conducted their annual food giveaway, distributing a significant amount of holiday food to their friends and neighbors who might need a hand up this year.

Liberty police officers stuffed a cruiser full of food and gifts for the needy, as did Bazetta Township and Newton Falls, and probably many others.

Many other officers take part in similar giving programs — some organized with their local departments or unions, and some on their own. Each of these efforts is extremely meaningful.

The Shop with a Cop program and other charitable events offered by area police prove that despite any negative views locally or nationally, our hometown officers often have their hearts in the right place.