Sirens sound, joy abounds, ‘Shop with a Cop’ storms county; STGnews videocast and photo gallery

Shop with a Cop 2012, Washington County, Utah, Dec. 15, 2012
Shop with a Cop 2012, Washington County, Utah, Dec. 15, 2012 | Photos by Dave Amodt, St. George News

WASHINGTON COUNTY –  Spirits of kids and cops and volunteers alike were anything but gloomy this morning, despite the drizzly weather, as they all converged first at the Washington County Fairgrounds for a pancake breakfast, then traveled with sirens screaming and lights flashing in police cars and emergency vehicles to area Wal-Mart stores to “Shop with a Cop.”

The Shop with a Cop program qualifies approximately 100 Washington County kids who meet certain need criteria and pairs them with officers from all of the law enforcement and public safety agencies in the county. Representatives of muncipal police departments, county sheriff, forestry service, parole services, even FBI, among many others (see sponsor and participating agencies list below), join with kids in this morning of purposeful pandemonium.

The children are each allotted $100 to spend and are paired one-on-one with a “cop” who follows them around and consults with them in their shopping process as they manage their purchasing budget.

“They can pick presents for themselves, although most of the time they pick for family members,” Hurricane Police Department’s public information officer, Nancy Perkins, said.  “Some of them pick a bike, almost always they find something for their mom or dad or brother or sister. Some of them need clothes more than anything else; and-some of them will buy a toy they always wanted.”

Some of the kids shopping are doing so for a younger sibling who is not old enough to shop for him or herself but has qualified for the program.

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Shop with a Cop, Washington County, Utah, Dec. 15, 2012 | Videocast by Sarafina Amodt, St. George news


Shop with a Cop is a collaborative effort of agencies, KONY Coins for Kids program – which conducts the qualification process and raises funds – individual donations, donations from the participating agency departments, and donation from individual officers who assign money they would have received for time off directly to the account for Shop with a Cop funding.

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Shop with a Cop photo gallery

Click on photo to enlarge it, then use your left-right arrow keys to cycle through the gallery. 
Group photo about 100 children with public safety agencies 2012 Shop with a Cop event.
Group photo at the Washington County Fairgrounds where about 100 children have breakfast with personnel from law enforcement and emergency response agencies before heading to area Wal-Mart stores. 2012 Shop with a Cop event. Washington County Fairgrounds, Hurricane, Utah, Dec. 15, 2012 | Photo by Dave Amodt, St. George News
Jason Ray of Cedar Post Pawn flips pancakes with the Sheriffs Office.
Jason Ray of Cedar Post Pawn and other volunteers flips pancakes with the Sheriffs Officers at the breakfast for the Shop with a Cop participants at Washington County Fairgrounds. Hurricane, Utah, Dec. 15, 2012 | Photo by Dave Amodt, St. George News
Organized pandemonium as Washington County children have breakfast with personnel from law enforcement and emergency response agencies before heading to area Wal-Mart stores for the 2012 Shop with a Cop event. Washington County Fairgrounds, Hurricane, Utah, Dec. 15, 2012 | Photo by Sarafina Amodt, St. George News
Washington County kids breakfast with a cop before Shop with a Cop 2012
Washington County children have breakfast with personnel from law enforcement and emergency response agencies before heading to area Wal-Mart stores. 2012 Shop with a Cop event. Washington County Fairgrounds, Hurricane, Utah, Dec. 15, 2012 | Photo by Sarafina Amodt, St. George News
Let the fun begin as kids and officers arrive for Shop with a Cop 2012, Hurricane Wal-Mart, Hurricane, Utah, Dec. 15, 2012 | Photo by Dave Amodt, St. George News
Trenton Williams shops with BLM Officer Curtis Racker
Trenton Williams shops with BLM Officer Curtis Racker, Wal-Mart, Shop with a Cop event. Hurricane, Utah, Dec. 15, 2012 | Photo by Dave Amodt, St. George News
The Barlow sisters arrive at Hurricane Wal-Mart via Hurricane Ambulance for Shop with a Cop event  2012.
The Barlow sisters arrive at Hurricane Wal-Mart via Hurricane Ambulance for Shop with a Cop event 2012. Hurricane, Utah, Dec. 15, 2012 | Photo by Dave Amodt, St. George News
Shop with a Cop event. Wal-Mart, Hurricane, Utah,
Washington County’s Barlow sisters take a ride on Hurricane Ambulance’s gurney – all the better to bear the purchases. Shop with a Cop event. Wal-Mart, Hurricane, Utah, Dec. 15, 2012 | Photo by Dave Amodt, St. George News
Adult Parole and Probation officer Daniel Cox helps Charlee Morrow with a new bike purchase.
Washington County Adult Parole and Probation officer Daniel Cox helps Charlee Morrow with a new bike purchase. Shop with a Cop event. Wal-Mart, Hurricane, Utah, Dec. 15, 2012 | Photo by Dave Amodt, St. George News
Santa Claus, young shopper and a cop
Santa Claus surprises a young shopper at the Hurricane Wal-Mart, Shop with a Cop event. Hurricane, Utah, Dec. 15, 2012 | Photo by Dave Amodt, St. George News
Wal-Mart workers start their Saturday morning checking out the Shop with a Cop
Wal-Mart workers start their Saturday morning checking out the Shop with a Cop participants. Hurricane, Utah, Dec. 15, 2012 | Photo by Dave Amodt, St. George News
Cops, cashiers and kids
Cops, cashiers and kids. Shop with a Cop 2012, Hurricane Wal-Mart, Hurricane, Utah, Dec. 15, 2012 | Photo by Dave Amodt, St. George News
Shop with a Cop 2012 is a family affair. Officers' wives
Shop with a Cop 2012 is a family affair. Officers’ wives volunteer to help kids wrap gifts they’ve purchased for family members. Washington County, Utah, Dec. 15, 2012 | Photo by Dave Amodt, St. George News
Kids shop with a little help from their partnering cop at Shop with a Cop 2012
Lynzie and Liza Barlow shop with Hurricane Fire Department. Shop with a Cop 2012, Hurricane Wal-Mart, Hurricane, Utah, Dec. 15, 2012 | Photo by Dave Amodt, St. George News
Rayna Rasmussen with Sheriff's Officer Eric Endter checking out.
Rayna Rasmussen with Sheriff’s Officer Eric Endter checking out. Shop with a Cop 2012, Hurricane Wal-Mart, Hurricane, Utah, Dec. 15, 2012 | Photo by Dave Amodt, St. George News
Southern Utah public safety servants invest in Shop with a Cop 2012
It’s not just the kids having fun, Southern Utah cops (of all agencies) put a lot of themselves into Shop with a Cop 2012. Hurricane Wal-Mart, Hurricane, Utah, Dec. 15, 2012 | Photo by Dave Amodt, St. George News
R.J. Campos checks out from Shop with a Cop 2012
R.J. Campos is a happy shopper as he checks out at Shop with a Cop 2012, Hurricane Wal-Mart, Hurricane, Utah, Dec. 15, 2012 | Photo by Dave Amodt, St. George News

Including volunteers and wives of officers to help kids wrap their gifts this year was new to the Shop with a Cop event. Since many of the kids actually spend their dollars buying gifts for their family members, providing the added wrapping aspect was another benefit to them.

“… This is a very exciting day for us,” Hurricane Wal-Mart Manager Rick Heyrend said. “As soon as this event ends we’ll start planning for next year.”

Although the videocast and photo gallery included with this report record Shop with a Cop shopping at Wal-Mart in Hurricane, kids and cops also invaded Wal-Mart stores in Washington City and the Bloomington area of St. George, and were equally warmly welcomed.

Sponsors, donors, agencies collaborate for Shop with a Cop 2012
Sponsors, donors, agencies collaborate for Shop with a Cop 2012, Washington County, Utah, Dec. 15, 2012 | Photo by Sarafina Amodt, St. George News

St. George News Photographer Dave Amodt and Videographer Sarafina Amodt contributed to this story.

Email: jkuzmanic@stgnews.com /  samodt@stgnews.com

Twitter: @JoyceKuzmanic /  @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2012, all rights reserved.

 

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