FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Local police officers will not go on shopping sprees for Christmas presents with children this holiday season.
The Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge 14 said Thursday that the annual Kops for Kids program has been canceled due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
“There’s definitely a need, and know the need is even more so now that the pandemic is going on. So it really hits us in the soul when we can’t do things like this. But we’re going to keep planning, and we’re going to find ways. We’re not going to let the pandemic beat us,” said local Fraternal Order of Police Director, Mitch McKinney.
Kops for Kids allows children to partner up with an officer to shop for Christmas presents. It is sponsored by the local Fraternal Order of Police and has been an annual event for more than 20 years.
McKinney said the organization is working on an alternative.
“You can always have some way to say, “Hey! For $50 you can buy this, for $20 you can buy this.” And we can have things already wrapped, and we can get them to folks. We’re going to find a way to do this, between us and all the departments that we represent at the Fraternal Order of Police, we’re going to find a way to get people help.”
An idea to help kids at the Parkview Cancer Institute did come out of the Allen County Sheriff’s Department.
“One of their officers reached out to me and said, “Hey, I know they need help. Let’s see what we can do.” And it just so happen to come together at the same time that we could possibly help about 40 children in their institute. And so, it has to go in front of the membership, but I believe it’s something we can do, just to make sure we’re having that connection to the community, and we’re having that holiday joy wherever we can.”
Check back to WANE.com for any future developments.