Christmas for Kids helps cops bring joy
by Mark Ledbetter
SYLACAUGA — Jack’s dining area Wednesday night was a mix of eager children ready to shop at Walmart thanks to law enforcement representatives.

Deputies, police officers and constables took part in the annual Christmas for Kids.

The event involved Childersburg and Sylacauga Police departments, Talladega and Coosa County Sheriff’s departments, and area constables.

Christmas for Kids is sponsored by the Fraternal Order of Police Post #8, an event FOP secretary Talladega County Sheriff’s Department’s Debbie Garner said has taken place for at least the last 12 years.

With donations from the FOP and several local businesses, 25 area children were fed a meal at Jack’s and then escorted to Walmart with a parade of squad cars with lights flashing and the occasional blaring of sirens.

“It’s great what they’re doing,” Jack’s assistant manager Cynthia Liner said.

Liner said Jack’s tried to provide everything the FOP requested. Liner said they cleaned, stocked and prepared the meal so everything would be ready when their guests arrived.

Each child was given a meal and was treated to a $75 shopping spree.

Eleven-year old Layla, as did her 10-year old brother Charles, said they would spend their money on clothes. Shaliyah, 10, and sister Kariyah, 5 said they would also buy clothes, while 6-year old Brianna said she was going to buy “everything.”

FOP President Tommy Wallace, Childersburg Police Department, said the event is “strictly for the kids.”

“We want the children to realize they don’t need to fear the police,” Wallace said, “and we want to get that message out. Many do fear the police and what better way to show them they don’t have to than to do Santa Claus.”

Wallace said a second group of 25 kids will meet at Wendy’s Thursday night and be provided with the same treats.

Contact Mark Ledbetter at mledbetter@dailyhome.com

© 2012