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Locals donate to make Shop with a Cop a success

  • Saline County Sheriff James "Whipper" Johnson, left, and Harrisburg Police Department Sgt. Curt Hustedde compare shopping lists as they assist with Saline County's Shop with a Cop program Saturday at the Harrisburg Walmart.

    Saline County Sheriff James "Whipper" Johnson, left, and Harrisburg Police Department Sgt. Curt Hustedde compare shopping lists as they assist with Saline County's Shop with a Cop program Saturday at the Harrisburg Walmart.
    COURTESY OF CURT HUSTEDDE

 
By Travis DeNeal tdeneal@dailyregister.com
updated: 12/12/2018 10:36 AM

HARRISBURG -- Harrisburg and Saline County-area police officers say Saturday's Shop with a Cop event was a success thanks to an outpouring of support from local donors.

Last week, officers involved with the annual event, which provides Christmas gifts to some local families, had made a request for additional donations.

By the end of the week, numerous individuals and local businesses stepped up and made donations to the program.

Saturday morning, numerous local police officers gathered with local families at the Harrisburg Walmart to take children shopping.

HPD Sgt. Curt Hustedde, who helps coordinate the program, said officers involved were thrilled with the public response.

"It was amazing," Hustedde said. "Before the last week, we were down 75 percent on our funding, but thanks to the public, we hit our goal."

Hustedde said the Saline County Shop with a Cop program helps about 300 children in Saline County with Christmas.

He also said that the program is continuing to accept donations. There are some children who were unable to attend Saturday's event, and the program will provide some gift cards to those children.

Those wishing to donate may contact the program by calling Saline County Central Dispatch at (618) 252-8661.

Hustedde said while police officers get the credit for providing the program, donors in the community should be thanked.

"People just came out of the woodwork to finance this program, and that's what makes it possible," he said. "It's actually the business and the local people who do this, and we couldn't do it without them. It's really the Saline County community that puts this together."