Earlier this month at the Ohio Attorney General's Conference on Law Enforcement, Ashland University Alumna and Ashland Police Department Detective Kim Mager was presented with the Distinguished Law Enforcement Community Service Award.
Detective Mager was recognized for her leadership of the local "Shop with a Cop" Program, which she has led for the past 13 years. The Program allows children in need to shop with a police officer for gifts during the Christmas season.
For the Distinguished Law Enforcement Community Service Award, each nominee is evaluated on leadership, civic involvement, personal contributions to the community, and positive impact for the community over his or her lifetime. The award seeks to recognize the recipient for making extraordinary contributions to his or her community.
According to a News Release from the Ohio Attorney General's Office, the Program was born in 2001 when Detective Mager was a patrol officer. A young boy had been removed from his home and had not received anything for Christmas. "Officers pooled their money and bought gifts for the child," reads the release. The following year, Detective Mager worked with Job and Family Services and local schools to identify children in need.
The Program has grown a great deal since 2001. Nearly 180 children "shopped with a cop" last year, the largest number of participants to date - an extraordinary contribution, indeed!