Lights, sirens, action: 100 kids with cops, EMTs out to shop for Christmas

A police officer and child during a Shop with a Cop event, location unspecified, 2014 | Photo by Brett Barrett, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Law enforcement and emergency responders from all over Washington County are participating in the annual “Shop with a Cop” program Saturday morning, speeding out from the Washington County Regional Park in Hurricane, sirens blaring, with 100 kids chosen through “Kony Coins for Kids” to shop at neighborhood stores.

A procession of law enforcement vehicles, lights on sirens blaring, head out from Washington County Regional Park, with kids in ride-along for the annual "Shop with a Cop" spree across Washington County. Hurricane, Utah, Dec. 12, 2015 | Photo by Sheldon Demke, St. George News
A procession of law enforcement vehicles, lights on sirens blaring, head out from Washington County Regional Park, with kids in ride-along for the annual “Shop with a Cop” spree across Washington County. Hurricane, Utah, Dec. 12, 2015 | Photo by Sheldon Demke, St. George News

“Our department is elated at the opportunity to participate in this program,” Hurricane City Police Chief Lynn Excell said.

It is a joy to see the excitement on the children’s faces as they get to shop and to know this will help their family’s ability to have an enjoyable Christmas. It is difficult to see families struggle during the holidays, and we are thankful to have a program like this where we can help. We need to make sure we offer our thanks to the sponsors who donate the funds to allow this program to happen. We wish everyone an enjoyable and safe holiday.

“The Sheriff’s Office is honored to participate in this event. It is a great opportunity to give back to the community,” Washington County Sheriff Cory Pulsipher said. “This is one of the highlights of our holiday season: to cook, interact and shop with the children. We are grateful to all the law enforcement officers and private donors who donate their time and resources for this special event.”

“Shop with a Cop is a great opportunity for the officers to interact with the children and to see the smiles on their faces,” St. George Police Chief Marlon Stratton said. “It’s also a great opportunity for the children to see the officers in a different, more fun environment and to see that we are there for them.”

There are many organizations and individuals who contribute to this program. This year, each child will be escorted by an officer and will receive $150 to shop with.

“We are excited as a department to be able to interact with our community members in this way; it is a great opportunity that we look forward to each year,” Washington City Police Chief Jim Keith said. “It brings joy to each of us as we spend time with these children, helping bring the Christmas spirit into their lives.”

The areas have been split into two: Kids living on the east side of the county will go with officers from that same area and will be shopping at the Hurricane Wal-Mart; and kids from the west side will be going to the Washington and Bloomington Wal-Mart stores. Wal-Mart has been a large supporter of this program for several years.

“The Santa Clara-Ivins Public Safety Department looks forward each year to participate in the Shop with a Cop Program,” Santa Clara-Ivins Public Safety Officer Chad Holt said. “Our officers, staff and spouses very much enjoy and are committed to the program.”

The children met officers and had breakfast together before shopping. The breakfast was sponsored by Sysco Foods and the Washington County Sheriff’s Office. Administrators from local law enforcement assisted with providing breakfast.

The morning sirens mark the grand excursion in which officers and responders along with their young charges travel together in law enforcement vehicles with lights flashing and sirens blaring – a rare incident when those are used in a nonemergency situation – to the stores they are assigned to.

 

Without caring people willing to donate, this program wouldn’t be possible, a news release in advance of the event said, noting thanks from law enforcement agencies  involved for all who make this program possible.

Gratitude from program coordinators was also expressed for Hurricane City Police Department, Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George Police Department, Santa Clara Ivins Police Department and Washington City Police Department for their efforts in obtaining funding for the “Shop with a Cop” program, for their participation, organization and planning of the event.

Email: news@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

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