RICHFIELD, Ohio (WKBN) – An officer with the Richfield Police Department was charged with stealing more than $25,000 from the department’s Shop with a Cop program.
Officer Michael Simmons, 41, of Stow, was charged Tuesday with theft in office during a hearing in Akron Municipal Court. A warrant was immediately issued for his arrest.
According to Attorney General Mike DeWine, Simmons is accused of buying sporting event tickets, electronics, clothing, tools and gift cards with money earmarked for the charitable program.
“The ‘Shop with a Cop’ program helps kids bond with and trust police, but this defendant violated that trust on so many different levels,” said Attorney General DeWine. “Our investigation found that, for years, this officer not only deceived those who generously donated to this charity, but he also stole from the children whom this program was created to help. Many more kids could have benefited from this charity had this defendant not spent thousands of dollars in donations on himself.”
Simmons was coordinator of the ‘Shop with a Cop’ program at the Richfield Police Department.
The program help financially disadvantaged families by taking children on a shopping trip with law enforcement each Christmas.