This week, we “wrapped up” our final two (of four total) annual Shop With A Cop events. We were joined by members of the Punta Gorda Police Department, Florida Highway Patrol, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and Peace River Search and Rescue (with their K9s). My deputies and I love to see the joy on the kids’ faces as they receive their $100 gift card to shop for gifts for themselves and their families.
For me, personally, I love watching these interactions not only for the smiles of the children and their parents, but also because of what those smiles represent. It’s bigger than the event itself. It represents the relationship of this agency with the people we serve. I’d like to share just a couple of examples from this year’s events that illustrate that.
- At an event this week, a little girl in a pretty dress with ribbons in her hair approached every law enforcement officer in attendance and handed them each a small business card that read “Dear Officer: #WeNeedYou”. She then smiled and walked away, on to the next deputy or officer she could find.
- At an event from last week, one member of the community brought in a hand-made wreath and card, dedicated to the entire CCSO, and thanked us for everything we do in Charlotte County.
These small gestures reinforce what I tell every deputy at each swearing in ceremony: “Our community supports us.”
Each interaction adds another brick to the foundation of Trust between CCSO and the people of Charlotte County, which is paramount to keeping our community safe.
We love the opportunity to engage with our community in these meaningful ways, and we value the support you all show us day in and day out.
A special thank you to all of the community partners, civic organizations, and individuals who donate or volunteer in order to make this happen for going on two decades. I appreciate your support of this amazing program every year, which allows us the chance to meet these incredible kids who are the future of this great county.
Stay safe, stay strong, and Merry Christmas!