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Shop With A Cop

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By Bryan Marshall

They’re only neighbors, but it’s hard to believe Josh and Colton are not related.

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If one got a navy and royal blue coat, the other wanted one too.

Each got their fair share of Star Wars and Bakugan toys.

The duo were side by side Dec. 12 as they, along with 15 other children, participated in the Shop With a Cop program with Williamstown Police, Grant County Sheriff’s Office and the Grant County Detention Center.

Each needy child chosen by school family resource centers was paired with an officer.

Col. Troy Hagedorn of the Grant County Sheriff’s Department was assigned to Josh and Colton.

The day started out with the children being taken by cruiser to Factory Brand Shoes in the Dry Ridge Outlet Mall.

“Look, it’s smaller police lights,” said Colton, who held up light-up Transformers shoes to Josh.

After finally choosing shoes, Hagedorn went to make the purchase.

The two friends decided to use the time to act like they were police officers themselves.

“Mine’s AWOL,” Hagedorn said, before finding Colton and Josh by the store’s door. “You all trying to make a break for it?”

“We’re cops,” Josh said. “We’re guarding the door.”

The next stop was Wal-Mart, which provided milk, juice and cookies to the group before they grabbed their shopping carts.

It proved a difficult task to avoid a stack of Star Wars toys Josh and Colton passed on their way to the clothes section of the store.

“We’ve got to get clothes first,” Hagedorn said. “We’ll be here all day and won’t be able to go eat.”

Once they each chose a few figures, it was on to look at shirts, pants and a coat.

Both had the same taste as they selected many of the same items to wear.

“People are going to think you’re brothers, but you’re not,” Hagedorn said.

“No, but we’re going to be twins,” Colton said.

Josh and Colton’s necks could have experienced whiplash as they scanned the aisles in the toys section.

Colton loved nearly every car he saw.

Josh tried to fill his cart full of Bakugan figures.

He later suggested that his younger sister would like a Bakugan as well before Hagedorn suggested a kitten stuffed animal.

The day ended with free pizza at Edwardo’s in Williamstown with a special visit from Santa Claus.

During Shop With a Cop, each child was able to spend between $250 and $300.

The money was raised mainly through an annual golf scramble and matching funds, said Sheriff Chuck Dills.

The departments also receive donations sometimes even while they are shopping.

“We got a check from somebody in Florida the other day,” said WIlliamstown Assistant Police Chief Chris Hankins. “It was made out for Shop with a Cop program. It was for $200.”

“We’ve had four people give us money today in the store,” Dills said. “We’ve got $150.”

For Colton and Josh, their day could be summed up by an exchange they had with a fellow classmate they ran into while shopping.

“We’re shopping with a cop,” they told the classmate.

“That’s awesome,” he replied.