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Officers on leave during 'Shop with a Cop' probe

Posted at 1:12 PM, Jan 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-28 17:42:30-05

Two Richfield police officers are on leave while the Ohio Bureau of Investigation looks into the department's 'Shop with a Cop' program.

In a letter to BCI, Richfield Police Chief Keith Morgan wrote, "I recently learned that there may be discrepancies in the Shop With a Cop financial accounts. There are two signers on the Shop With a Cop financial accounts, both are members of the Richfield Police Department."

Morgan said a synopsis of the events leading to the formal request for an investigation would be provided to BCI.

The program is sponsored by FOP Lodge # 66 and includes participation by Richfield police officers.

Several other Summit County police agencies take part in the event.

Lt. Joe Davis told newnet5.com that thousands of dollars are donated yearly to the program by residents and businesses.

He said Shop With a Cop is a great opportunity for officers to interact with the community. Children of families in need are driven to various stores in cruisers and then given the chance to shop for Christmas gifts.

Davis hopes the popular program doesn't sustain "a black eye" because of the probe, but emphasized transparency and getting to the truth are important.

"We want folks to know that we want this program to be run at the highest standard possible and that anything less than that, we're going to look into it. The best way to look into it and not say we are taking care of our own is to have an independent agency look into it," Davis said.

According to Davis, a full-time officer was placed on paid administrative leave. A part-time officer was placed on leave without pay.

Their names have not been released.