ST. GEORGE — Local businessman Brad Phillips and his wife, Alicia, announced June 13 through their businesses’ Facebook pages that they will be offering free meals and rentals to law enforcement officers. Phillips owns Dickey’s Barbecue Pit in Bloomington Hills and Coral Sand Adventures in Hurricane.
Dickey’s will be offering free meals to officers while Coral Sand Adventures will be offering free rentals of UTVs, wave runners and kayaks Monday through Thursday, with both offers running through the end of the month. Phillips said the idea came about through posts he has been seeing on social media lately.
“To be honest, Facebook is so negative about everything that’s going on in life, and I was getting tired of seeing that,” Phillips said. “In my business in Tooele, we’ve fed Bureau of Land Management firefighters, we’ve fed firefighters when houses have been burned down, I’ve fed police officers, I’ve fed snowplow drivers, and I just haven’t done anything like that down here. I’m not choosing any sides. … It just came about from being frustrated by seeing nothing but negative.”
The biggest message behind the idea was to give back to those who put their lives on the line every day. Phillips said the worst thing to happen to him in a day is when his brisket shipment does not show up, while the worst thing to happen for officers, or their spouse, is for them to possibly not to come home.
“My bad days are, ‘Hey, my shipment of brisket didn’t show up,'” Phillips said. “They’re dealing with people walking up and shooting them, spitting in their face or yelling obscenities to them, and they have to keep their cool. I know for a fact I wouldn’t keep my cool if somebody was doing that to me.”
Phillips saw the interactions between the police officers in St. George and the protesters who have been gathering in downtown St. George recently, and noticed they have been peaceful interactions. As a business owner, he said the interactions he has had with police officers in the area have been pleasant.
“It’s fantastic that these officers have been able to realize that they aren’t mad at them, they’re mad at the situation overall,” Phillips said. “I said, ‘I’ll feed you and call me when you guys have a day off and I’ll let you and your family go out for a little while.’ I put it out there for anybody, whether it be a Las Vegas cop or a California cop, if you want to call me, I’ll put it in the books.”
In regard to community engagement, the post on their Dickey’s Barbecue Pit Facebook page has received almost 800 shares. Phillips said they have been serving about four or five law enforcement officers a day.
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