Beacon Journal staff report:
“A Richfield police officer who helped start Shop With A Cop — a now-regional program designed to help low-income youngsters bond with law enforcement by brightening their Christmas — is accused of stealing money from the charity.
Officer Michael Simmons, 41, of Stow has been charged with a felony count of theft in office for allegedly taking more than $25,000 from the Richfield Police Department’s Shop With A Cop account.
Special agents with the state’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) launched an investigation in January at the request of Richfield Police Chief Keith Morgan.
Morgan asked for the assistance after becoming aware of unauthorized financial transactions in the department’s Shop With A Cop bank account, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said. The BCI investigated two police officers who were signers on the account before filing the charge against Simmons in Akron Municipal Court on Monday.
In a 2009 Akron Beacon Journal story, Simmons said he helped start the program in Summit County seven years earlier.
“We were thinking of ways to help children,” Simmons was quoted saying. “It bothered me that kids were waking up Christmas morning with no Christmas presents. We wanted to do something to eliminate that.”
Simmons couldn’t be reached Monday for comment.
On Monday, DeWine said the program was meant to help kids bond with and trust police, “but this defendant violated that trust on so many different levels. Our investigation found that, for years, this officer not only deceived those who generously donated to this charity, but he also stole from the children whom this program was created to help. Many more kids could have benefited from this charity had this defendant not spent thousands of dollars in donations on himself.”
Attention kids, don’t shop with the cops
It would appear that they are scumbag thieves
Attention parents, remember this guy the next time:
Someone calls a cop a hero
Says “As long as they go home safe”
Somebody tells you that cops put their “Life on the line for us everyday”
The next time you have jury duty
The next time you hear sworn testimony from an “Officer of the court”
The next time you see a cop with a “Better than you” attitude