November 19, 2018

Law enforcement agencies gearing up for Shop with a Cop


WEST BRANCH — Ogemaw County Sheriff Howie Hanft reports that he has raised more than $4,000 for the annual Shop with a Cop event, but the needs still outweigh the funds raised.

“I try to stretch (the money) out a little bit,” Hanft said. “You feel bad because people call and you can’t get them in.”

Funds for the program are raised through individual donations and grants, many of which are written by West Branch Police Chief Ken Walters.

“Since I have become chief, I have stepped in to boost the funding so we can get more children involved,” Walters. “It is a very important program in the aspect that kids that may not have a Christmas or not that great of one, that we can boost that. It is a joy to see it benefit more and more people with the more money that we can raise.”

Hanft said currently 40 kids have been selected for the program because of the amount of money raised.

The program connects area kids in need with officers from all of the area’s law enforcement divisions.

The program, which predates Hanft’s time as the county sheriff, has been going on for more than 20 years.

“It is a lot of fun,” Hanft said. “A lot of kids buy for their brothers and sisters, grandma and gramps.”

Community members can contact Hanft at 989-312-0973 if they are interested in donating to the program. He said the best way to donate is to purchase Walmart gift cards.


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