LOGAN — Local law enforcement agencies came together Saturday morning for the annual “Shop with a Cop.” The event gave 50 children the chance to choose Christmas presents for themselves and their families, with the help of officers, deputies, troopers and volunteers.
North Park Police Sgt. Roger Jardine was the lead-organizer of this year’s event. He said the program not only helps families in need, but also builds friendships between the kids and law enforcement.
“This is a good way to get the positive atmosphere out there with us and the kids, and show them that we are not just there for the negative,” explained Jardine. “In my experience, this has been very positive.”
The kids who were chosen this year were invited to the Cache County Sheriff’s Office, where they were first partnered with a law enforcement member. They then had a chance to eat breakfast together, complete with scrambled eggs, pancakes, sausage and hash browns, provided by jail staff.
Jardine explained, after breakfast the kids were chauffeured to the North Logan Walmart in a full police procession, with lights and sirens.
“Yup, they love getting in those cars, hitting the buttons, changing the siren tones and getting on the PA’s. It’s one of the highlights that they have.”
Before entering the store, the kids were visited by a special visitor. Santa Clause rode into the parking lot in a firetruck from the North Logan Fire Department and was immediately surrounded and hugged by some of the children.
Jardine said agents from the Department of Child and Family Services (DCFS) selected the children who participated. They also helped determine the kid’s and family’s needs.
“DCFS puts together a little spread sheet for each kid, how many brothers and sisters, mom and dad, and then they put down wanted items. Most of the kids, in my experience in the 20-years I’ve been doing this, will shop for their siblings and parents instead of themselves. It tears at your heartstrings and you end up buying stuff for the kid.”
All of the law enforcement agencies from the valley helped, including Franklin and Rich Counties, Division of Natural Resources and Adult Probation and Parole. All of the money for the gifts were donated by businesses and law enforcement members.