EAST HANOVER, NJ - Everyone’s still doing their holiday shopping. In East Hanover, even the law enforcement has that extra duty. But on December 12th, 17 members of the East Hanover PBA Local 227 participated in Target’s Hero’s and Helper’s Shop with a Cop.

Target and the PBA Local 227 have partnered together in this event for two years now, after the latter group received a grant that goes to deserving children.

“This year’s event was coordinated by Sergeant Brian Stevens, myself, Patrolman Bob Zimmermann and Patrolman Matt Melillo,” said Patrolman Matt Cerrato. “Our officers coordinated with Bill Reining [Target] and John Salo [Panera]. Five deserving East Hanover children were selected to ‘Shop with a Cop.’ The children arrived, with their families and were teamed up with our officers. Each child was given a gift card to use on themselves, their families or their friends.”

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As many as 30 people gathered at Target. Panera also donated breakfast to the group.

“This event’s purpose is to help brighten the holiday of children of our community who are going through a rough time,” said Patrolman Cerrato. “It is an event that our officers have grown to look forward to and gladly volunteer their time to participate. Patrolman Bob Zimmermann stated ‘the smiles on their faces make the day.’ All in all this year’s event was a bigger success than even last year and we hope to continue to partner with Target and our community to make each following year better than the last.

Later, on December 16th, East Hanover’s finest visited Morristown Medical Goryeb children’s hospital to hand delivered toys that themselves collected and purchased to young patients who can’t be home for the holidays.