Shop with a Cop 2022, helping 175+ kids smile more at Christmas

JOPLIN, Mo. — Despite the early Saturday morning, everyone was all smiles on December 10, 2022, more than 175 kids were able to ‘Shop with a Cop’ at Wal-Mart #59, 1501 S Rangeline, in Joplin.

  • CAPT DAVIS: Today is our Annual ‘Shop with a Cop’ where officers with the Joplin Police and Seneca Police are able to pair up with kids who may not have a great Christmas ahead of them, but we take them Christmas shopping today. It’s a great program we look forward to it each and every year.
  • Q: How many kids are here this morning?
  • CAPT DAVIS: This year we have about 180 kids between Joplin Police and Seneca Police, we both pair up. So kids are from Joplin Schools and Seneca Schools today.
  • Q: We are doing the math in our head? Each child gets $100 to spend on themselves and maybe someone special in their life. Wow! Who pays for all this?
  • CAPT DAVIS: This would not be possible without the generous donations from individuals, businesses, organizations, in and around the Joplin area. We are so thankful that each and every year they continue to donate to help make this possible.
  • Q: How is this event still special to you personally year after year?
  • CAPT DAVIS: This program is really special, when you get paired with a kid and they want to shop for people other than themselves. It really touches your heart. They maybe want to buy a present for mom, dad, brother, sister. It shows the true meaning what this is all about… helping others.

Fraternal Order of Police SWMo Lodge #27 members come together to help organize the event. Lodge members also donate money and time every year. Today we spotted Joplin Police Explorers, Joplin Police Sentinels, MSSU Criminal Justice students, Diamond Police, however dozens of others involved who were not able to attend in person.

Kids are mostly nominated by school resource officers and guidance counselors. They are each allotted a specific amount of money to shop. On a different day, which is more private, the foster children get to shop.

Wal-Mart #59 employees were numerous meeting kids and families in line with donuts, juice, milk and smiles. Dozens were there, including management, helping shoppers find certain items, keep the checkouts running smoothly, and perhaps cleaning up a spill or two quickly that happened while shopping!

I am not a part of this program, I just had to have my tires worked on today. But I wanted to tell you how much I appreciate what you all do!

Shopper talking to JPD Ofc 

Numerous other police departments and agencies across the area work to within their local communities to help those at Christmas. So there are opportunities to give everywhere.

Holding other events this season include (partial list, click each below to view):

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Honoring Fallen Webb City Marshal killed in the line of duty 120 years ago

WEBB CITY, Mo. — A fallen Webb City Marshal who died 120 years ago in the line of duty will be honored on Tuesday, October 18, in a special ceremony where he is already buried at Webb City Cemetery.

His marker does not recognize his line of duty death, until now.

City Marshal Leonard S. Rich serving the City of Webb City, was killed in the line of duty on August 10, 1902.

Marshal Rich was shot and killed while responding to a disturbance in downtown Webb City.

Webb City Elk’s Lodge #861, Mount Hope Cemetery & Quality Memorials, Inc. will place memorial marker on his gravesite.

| SEE OUR LIVE live video honoring Marshal Rich from Webb City Cemetery.

“Today we pay homage to to one of our officers who gave the ultimate sacrifice. Marshal Leonard S. Rich was a Webb City lawman dedicated to bringing law and order to his town.” — Service Program

On Saturday night August 10, 1902 Marshal Rich was responding to a disturbance inside Lizzie Reed’s Resort. The resort was a two-story building on Main  Street. The trouble was between the owner, Lizzie, and an Oklahoma man, Jim Gideon.

Jim Gideon and his gang had been giving some of the girls upstairs in the parlor some troubles. Lizzie wanted them to go downstairs but he refused.

The Gideon Brothers, Joe and Jim, had moved to Webb City from Oklahoma Indian Territory in December 1901. They quickly became known as dangerous men and this was not their first run-in with Marshal Rich.

Both brothers had been bragging all evening about how they were going to “get a guy” and the deed was going to take sometime around midnight. Joe would not stop talking about it and kept showing off his gun until Jim finally told him to take the gun back to the hotel room. Only Joe didn’t do it and he continued to drink.

Finally Lizzie called Marshal Rich, Marshal James, and Sam Moon, temporary police officer hired to serve during the street fair.

At first Marshal Rich tried to talk Jim down and for a while it seemed to be working until they got to the front door. That’s when a scuffle between Jim and Marshall Rich broke out. At the same time a fight was going on between Joe Gideon and Marshall James.

Shots were fired and when it was over Joe Gideon had killed Marshall Rich. Sam Moon had killed Joe Gideon and Jim Gideon had been shot through the arm. Marshall James was badly beaten but survived.

Marshall Leonard Rich was a peace officer and a family man. He married Eve May Eulitle in July 1888. They had a six year old daughter, Stella. Marshal Rich is buried in the Webb City Cemetery; his stone does not show he died in the line of duty.

October 18, 2022 a new stone was placed in front of Marshal Rich headstone to recognize his sacrifice for the people of Webb City.

Information courtesy Priscilla Brown and Jeanne Woodworth-Newby of the Webb City area genealogical society.



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