An OPD cruiser sat outside Shoe Stop Sunday evening, July 26, but this was no emergency.
Members of the Owensboro Police Department, Daviess County Sherriff’s Department, Daviess County Detention Center, and retired officers met for the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) Lodge #16 “Back to School Shop With a Cop” at Shoe Stop (4650 Towne Square).
By the looks on their faces, the officers, parents and children were loving every minute of it.
“It’s nice to see these kids have a brand new pair of shoes for the first day of school and see the confidence that gives them,” said Shop with a Cop co-director Jeremy Henry, who is the DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) Officer for Owensboro Public Schools and Owensboro Catholic Schools.
Nearly 70 children (all referred by Family Resource/Youth Service Centers in Owensboro Public Schools and Daviess County Public Schools or Sunrise Children’s Services) were fitted with shoes by friendly Shoe Stop staff. FOP paid $65 toward every pair of shoes purchased. “It’s worth every penny,” Henry said. Thanks to money generated at public fundraisers and generous support from local businesses, FOP is able to do community events like these.
“Our lodge does Shop with a Cop twice a year, once at Christmas and also at back to school time,” said Detective Brandon Sims, Vice President of FOP Lodge #16. When Sims asked the FRYSC coordinators what their families’ needs were as the first day of school approached, they said shoes were their greatest need because so many churches and other places help with school supplies and backpacks. As a result, the Back to School Shop with a Cop has become a very positive, community collaboration between FOP, Family Resource/Youth Service Centers, and Shoe Stop.
“The kids are excited. The officers are excited to be here. And Shoe Stop has been great to work with,” Henry said. “This is a lot of fun.”