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'Christmas with a Cop'

by Shawn Daley
Editor, The Apex Herald
December 17, 2004

Apex Police Officer Phillip Flood helps a child shop for toys as part of “Christmas with a Cop.”
The expressions on the children’s faces said it all.

Early Saturday morning, 17 smiling youngsters arrived by limousine at Super Target for a Christmas shopping spree they will hopefully never forget.

Apex police officers and local businesses teamed up for the first annual “Christmas with a Cop” program that helped local families in need during the holiday season.

Hope McIver couldn’t contain her smile as she watched her five-year-old son hurry toward the toy department as an Apex police officer followed behind with a shopping cart.

“I really appreciate that the Apex police are doing this for my son,” said McIver. “It lets me know they care a lot about the community. He’s been saying all week how excited he was about all of this.”

Helping less fortunate families in town and creating a stronger relationship with local youth are the main goals of the program.

“We were very fortunate because so many businesses were very excited to make donations to us,” said Officer Susan Byrd. “They thought it was a great idea since Apex has never done this before.

“This is just a great way to give back to the community and show kids that police officers aren’t bad. Unfortunately, some of them have that view of us.”

If any of the kids in the program had negative views of the police they did a great job of hiding it.

All over the store, 14 officers and seven members of the police Explorers Post helped the children and their families shop for toys and clothes.

Apex resident Debbie Harris was shopping when she saw the officers and kids walking around the store. She quickly offered to make a donation.

“I think this is fantastic and the kids are just so happy,” said Harris. “You can just see their excitement. Actually, I think the adults might be having more fun than the kids are.”

Byrd, who was one of the main organizers of the event along with Sgt. Jacques Gilbert, agreed that the officers were enjoying themselves nearly as much as the children.

“It’s a wonderful feeling,” said Byrd. “I don’t have kids so it’s always fun for me to see kids running around shopping.”

It also allowed many of the officers to reflect upon their good fortune.

“For some of the guys who have kids this is an emotional thing for them,” said Byrd. “They kind of put themselves into the situation of the families and think how it would be if they weren’t as fortunate.

“I know I was very fortunate growing up and I can’t imagine what it would be like not getting the stuff you wanted for Christmas.”

Thanks to some caring police officers and several local businesses, 17 Apex children will have many of their Christmas wishes come true.

“Santa Claus will be coming to a lot more homes this year,” said Byrd, “and I’m sure he will be bringing a lot more than what was expected.”

The following businesses, individuals and organizations contributed to the first annual ‘Christmas with a Cop’ program.

  • Apex Police Department
  • Apex Community Auxiliary
  • Apex Volunteer Fire Department
  • ATI Industrial Automation
  • B&R Mowing, Inc. / Roy Moore
  • Beavers DDS
  • Blue Rain Café
  • Classic Limousines of Apex
  • Lisa Daley
  • Jean & Billy Yates
  • Jimmy & Sue Crabtree
  • L.G. Jordan Oil
  • Mr. & Mrs. Bob Maynard
  • Paradise Pizza
  • Patronie’s Pizza/ Jersey Mikes Subs of Apex
  • John Patrone
  • Potters Industries
  • Ralph’s Italian Ices
  • Southern Grounds
  • Super Target of Apex
  • The Original Italian Pie of Apex
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