Somerset Police arrested The Grinch — a repeat criminal littering offender — this week and took matters into their own hands to rehabilitate his despicable soul by spreading Christmas cheer to local children.
Already facing a warrant for his arrest that carried 100 community service hours, the Grinch’s latest offense — tossing a can out his vehicle window while driving down College Street — was caught by Officer Jordan Hoseclaw police cruiser camera Wednesday. As he made the arrest, Hoseclaw told The Grinch it was time for him to learn the true meaning of Christmas.
“I HATE CHRISTMAS!” The Grinch shouted during his arrest, which was aired on the Somerset Police Facebook page.
But that began to change over the course of the holiday week, as the Somerset Police Department continued its tradition of delivering toys, books, board games and candy to children in the community. In addition to the department’s annual Shop with a Cop program, which served 13 local children on Dec. 19, SPD served another 13 children by delivering gifts to three homes on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Support for Shop with a Cop from the AM Vets Chapter 125, City of Somerset Alcohol Beverage Control Office and Walmart made it possible for SPD to reach these additional families.
Officers also made deliveries to Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital and the Bethany House, not only for children staying there, but for health care workers and caregivers making sacrifices to care for others, Somerset Police Chief William Hunt said.
The Grinch was involved in every delivery, Hunt said, many of which involved leaving items at doors because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Normally we go in and make deliveries, but everything is different this Christmas because of the pandemic,” Hunt said. “We enjoy interacting with people and we’re losing that this year, but we still feel it is important because it can help brighten somebody’s day.”
Shop with a Cop, in its fourth year, and the home delivery program are part of a larger community-oriented policing initiative that helps Somerset Police build relationships between officers and the people they protect.
“Our officers are always looking for ways to improve and are committed to being the best servant leaders they can be,” Hunt said. “Their eyes and ears are always open to opportunities that make this community stronger and safer, and their hearts are always willing to give.”
That was the message officers shared with The Grinch during their Christmas deliveries, which also aired on Facebook.
What happened then? Well, in Somerset they say, the Grinch’s small heart grew three sizes on Christmas Day — and many children in the community enjoyed a Christmas they might not otherwise would have been able to.
“Our work is never done in helping others, but because of the many people who support Somerset Police, we have been able to make a small difference for local children and show The Grinch the true meaning of Christmas,” Hunt said. “We’re already looking forward to our next opportunity to be a light in this community.”