Junior Officer ‘Ki’ kicks off Round Lake Beach Shop with a Cop
By Frank Abderholden email@example.com December 4, 2012 6:34PM
Mekhi Carter, sitting on his Aunt Eileen Sisley's lap, gives a thumbs up to Police Department Deputy Chief Richard Chiarello before the Shop-With-A-Cop at Walmart in Round Lake Beach Monday, Dec. 3. | Dan Luedert~Sun-Times Media
SHOP WITH A COP
Shop with a Cop first came to Lake County through the Round Lake Park Police department 16 years ago and then spread like a prairie fire. “I heard of another community in another county that had done it,” said Bruce Johnson, the police chief in the village back then. He plans to be at his old department’s Shop with a Cop on Monday night. Donations can still be made at the village hall or the police station.
The Lindenhurst Police Department is also seeking donations for its 11th annual Shop with a Copouting Dec. 17 for children who may otherwise not receive Christmas gifts. Police officers from Lindenhurst, Deerfield, Grayslake, Northfield , Lake County Forest Preserve, and Lake County Sheriff’s Department have volunteered to shop with children from the Lindenhurst/Lake Villa area, said Officer Sandra Rapey. Following a pizza party at the police department, the kids will be taken by squad cars to shop at Walmart in Round Lake Beach. After shopping with a police officer, they will return to the station to have their gifts wrapped. Eligible children are garnered from lists submitted by local schools and any children under age 13 in the family are included in the program, said Rapey, who hopes this year’s event can allocate $125 spending money to each child. The money given to the children to shop is raised through donations. Businesses and residents wishing to donate to the program can mail checks to: ‘Shop with a Cop,’ Lindenhurst Police Department, 2300 E. Grand Avenue, Lindenhurst, IL 60046.
Waukegan’s third annual Shop with a Cop will be held Dec. 22 at the Fountain Square Walmart, followed by a pizza party at Anastasia’s restaurant. The city is seeking more donations. All monetary donations are considered a tax-deductable, charitable donation. “We need you to help change the lives of these worthy children,” said Police Officer Keith LaManna. They also set up a Facebook page called Waukegan Shop with a Cop. Donations can be dropped off at any city hall department in an envelope marked Shop with a Cop.
— Diana Kuyper contributed to this story
Updated: January 6, 2013 9:35AM
Three-year-old “Ki” Carter, wearing a custom-made police uniform that was part of his Make-A-Wish Foundation “enhancement wish,” officially kicked off the Shop with a Cop event in Round Lake Beach Monday night.
Mekhi “Ki” Carter of Round Lake Beach was there with his great aunt and uncle, Eileen and Dan Sisley, who explained that he has had three heart surgeries. Part of his heart is undeveloped and doesn’t work. More surgery will be required down the road.
Carter officially became a Junior Round Lake Beach Police Officer recently at a village board meeting where he was honored for his courage and great attitude. After each surgery, the song “Bad Boys” by Inner Circle was played because of the cop theme.
The police department asked its uniform manufacturer, Gall, if they could make Ki an official shirt for Halloween, which he didn’t hesitate to raise to show his surgery scars. No one knows why he became enamored with police officers. He also has an ammo pouch he fills with suckers.
“I like the lights of the cop cars,” he said. And he also really likes suckers. Mekhi, his brother, Austin, 9, sister, Maji, 6, and his mother, Becky Dressler of Round Lake Beach, will be going to Disney World through Make-A-Wish Foundation.
“We decided he’d be great to kick off the Shop with a Cop,” said Deputy Police Chief Richard Chiarello. Police got involved after dispatcher Jen Dosch, a Round Lake resident who is a wish granter for the foundation.
Hot dogs and treats greeted the more than 50 children who were picked to go Shop with a Cop and music was provided by the Antioch High School Jazz Band, which earned community service credit. Lt. Gilbert Rivera, whose wife Valerie also volunteered for the event, convinced his son, Andre, 15, who was in the band, to come out and play.
There was also a last minute $500 donation made by John Lesniak, a Ray’s Chevrolet salesman. “We really appreciate their community involvement,” said Chiarello. “It’s our pleasure,” said Lesniak. That meant over 50 kids would get the opportunity to shop.
“He was very excited,” said Renee Hayes, 34, of Round Lake Beach, after her son Jason Boyd, 9, was chosen to shop. She said her other children also got to Shop with a Cop, “and my children really appreciated it. If it weren’t for shopping with a cop, who knows how this Christmas would be,” she said.
Her friend Felisha Greathouse, 42, of Round Lake Beach, also came just to check out the activity at the village’s Cultural and Civic Center. “They did a great job. The hot dogs, the arts and crafts ornament making. It was really impressive,” she said.
Jason got to shop with Police Officer Steve Sandacz. “I don’t think I’ve missed one since I started as a rookie,” he said as he grabbed the gift list and headed out into the Super Walmart. “It’s been fun, a good time,” he said.
They decided to knock out the basics first, with Jason picking some skeleton gloves, a hat with the Angry Birds logo and Fubu gym shoes that had fluorescent blue coloring. Then he hit the toys, picking out a plastic raptor for his younger brother Jaydon and a bigger one for himself. “I like dinosaurs,” he said.