SYRACUSE – It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in Davis County. That certainly was the case for dozens of kids who arose early last Saturday, Dec. 7.
The youngsters got a bit of their Christmas early, thanks to law enforcement officers who joined with the kids in the annual “Shop With a Cop.”
This year’s event was held at the Super Walmart in Syracuse, which welcomed the eager youngsters early that morning.
The morning started with breakfast at Applebee’s in Layton. Pam Johnson, manager of Applebee’s, received donations for food.
With their bellies full, it was time to go shopping and visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus.
About 80 police cars loaded with children paraded west down Antelope Drive toward the store.
Circling above was a Life Flight helicopter, with a jolly man in a bright red suit, and Mrs. Claus, waving to the crowd below.
Shop with a Cop is an event that helps underprivileged children have a happy holiday. It also helps build trust with police officers. This day allows the children a chance to see the caring side of the law.
Lt. Dave Edwards of the Bountiful Police Department, said that each child could spend $100 on gifts. Several businesses also donated to the project, Edwards said. Edwards is second vice president of the Fraternal Order of Police and has been involved with Shop With a Cop for about 10 years.
Pauline Richardson, wife of Sheriff Todd Richardson, is a chief organizer of this event.
“What a neat opportunity for these kids who wouldn’t normally have Christmas,” said Mary Ann Nielson, Davis School District homeless liaison.
Seventy-six children took part this year.
Aiden, a 5 year old, seemed lost amid the toys and clothing. He wasn’t quite sure what he wanted. His shopping partner, Davis County Sheriff’s Deputy Jammie Embley, has been doing Shop With A Cop for about eight years. She said this day was a highlight to her week, adding that it’s nice to see positive things happen to children.
She helped Aiden find boots that fit, socks, and some warm pajamas. Aiden was also very interested in Embley’s handcuffs and police gear. After the necessities the two shoppers moved on to the toys.
Representatives of various Davis County law enforcement agencies volunteered their time.