by Mark Huard
The Cops Care For Kids Program was created in 2006 by Detective Kingston Paul who started shopping all year for small stuffed animals, coloring books and crayons which he would deliver to struggling families within Fairfield. After several years, then Chief John Emery found out that the program was being funded solely by Detective Paul and challenged all officers to donate $5 per week to the program. He himself donated $10 weekly and now the program raises about $1,300 per year. Once the officers started donating, the list was increased to include as many Fairfield children as possible and has risen to as many as 250 children.
This year, members of the Fairfield Police delivered to about 90 households and they gave presents to around 200 children. They were able to get names of families and children in need with the help of the Fairfield Primary and Benton Elementary School staff. The schools handed out slips to Fairfield children and collect them for the officers. Fairfield officers then go to local stores and start shopping for gifts. This year, around 600 gifts were wrapped by about 15 people in the basement of the Fairfield Town Office. They were packaged with a small stuffed animal and a business card which was printed in memory of Kingston Paul who passed away earlier this fall. Some of Kingston’s family members attended the wrapping session as well as family and friends of the department’s officers and town office staff (who helped with wrapping most of the fall). Kingston retired as a captain in 2015 after serving 20 years with the town of Fairfield, and after his passing, we learned that he donated $20,000 to the program to ensure its existence long into the future.
Fairfield Police received gifts from many sources including local citizens, the VFW and the American Legion Ladies Auxiliary, although the officers are most proud of the fact that they donate the lions share of expenses for the program. Chief Tom Gould said, “It’s hard to put into words the emotions involved in the delivery process because it creates a unique connection between our department and the children who live in town. We’re just as excited to see them as they are to see us.”
Fairfield Police thank Skowhegan Printing for getting their 2016 program cards printed the same day they were needed. Also thank you to the Somerset County Sheriff’s Office for patrolling the town and covering calls while all of their cruisers were busy making deliveries.
Thank you Village Market and the Fairfield Family Dollar Store for their continued support to the program.