Project shows kids police aren't bad guys

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By The Staff

Shoes. Clothing. School supplies. Even a toy or two. After several years' absence, the local Kentucky State Police "Shop with a Trooper" program is back. And we know of at least seven kids who are happy about that.


On Thursday evening, about a dozen troopers hit Wal-Mart to shop with seven kids from Taylor, Green, Casey, Marion and Washington counties. It's part of an outreach program that not only helps kids meet some basic needs, but also shines a positive light on law enforcement.


"At times, we're portrayed to kids as bad guys," said Trooper Billy Gregory, KSP Post 15 public affairs officer. "Some children are afraid of police. We want them to know we're here to help and this is an avenue in which we can do that."


All too often, Gregory said, kids are exposed to police when a family member has been hurt or arrested. "Shop with a Trooper" helps kids understand that police are their friends and are here to help.


And troopers did plenty of that on Thursday, helping kids try on shoes, pick out clothing and narrow down their choice of toys.


Money was provided for the program through the Kentucky State Police Professional Association. Enough funds were raised to spend $100 on each child and treat each and their families to dinner at Mr. Gatti's.


Gregory said this marks the beginning of what will be an annual program. We hope that is true. There are plenty of organizations and programs out there that help children in need, but there can never be too many.