SOMERSET, KENTUCKY (December 24, 2021) — As he was taken away by police cruiser in the evening hours of Dec. 21, The Grinch shouted from the back seat, “I NEED TO RETHINK MY LIFE!”
That is exactly what Somerset Police hope to make him do this holiday season.
In an effort to rehabilitate the community’s most sinister repeat offender, Somerset Police Department required The Grinch to log service hours during Christmas week as part of its tradition to deliver toys, books, candy and personal items to local children.
Somerset Police Officer Jordan Hoseclaw arrested The Grinch Tuesday night after receiving a tip that someone in a red jacket was breaking into vehicles downtown. Working with Santa Claus (local celebrity Tommy Cate), Hoseclaw chased a fleeing Grinch to the Energy Center, where Santa stopped him in his tracks.
“Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, what do you think you’re doing?” Santa asked The Grinch during his arrest, which was caught by security cameras and aired on Facebook Wednesday morning. “Have you not learned anything? You’re back on the naughty list, buddy.”
This is the second time SPD has attempted to show The Grinch the true meaning of Christmas. SPD arrested him just before Christmas last year for criminal littering and engaged him in a similar level of community service.
“Clearly The Grinch hasn’t learned his lesson,” Somerset Police Chief William Hunt said. “Hopefully this year we will make an impression as we deliver Christmas cheer to families in the community.”
SPD served more than 40 local children through its annual Shop with a Cop program and by delivering gifts to homes on Dec. 23-24. 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 additional families at their homes.
Officers also made deliveries to the children’s unit at Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital and a local domestic violence shelter, not only for children staying there but for health care workers and caregivers making sacrifices to care for others, Hunt said.
Shop with a Cop, in its fifth 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.
“Improving our community is so much more than just writing tickets and making arrests,” Hunt said. “We make every effort to make our citizens’ lives better. I’m a strong believer that to make a difference in the community, you should get out in the community. Our Christmas giving programs afford us that opportunity.”
Hunt said the holiday season is a joyful time for many, but there are people who struggle during this time and it’s important for the police department and community to reach out in support.
“While this season should be about joy and happiness and faith, there is also a great deal of stress and depression associated with the holidays,” Hunt said. “This is just one way we can bring cheer to families in our community and in the spirit of giving, show them we care.”
That was the message officers shared with The Grinch during their Christmas deliveries, which can be viewed on SPD’s Facebook page on Christmas Day.
“We love serving the community and our work is never done in this regard,” Hunt said. “We are so grateful to those who support the Somerset Police, and we strive every day to pay that forward so the members of our community feel safe and appreciated.”