Last Saturday, December 7th, 2013, The Layton Police and Fire Departments teamed with United States Military personnel from Hill Air Force Base to help children shop at the Layton Walmart Supercenter at this year’s annual “Shop With A Cop.”
The event started in the early morning hours, as officers, firefighters, and military personnel met with the children for breakfast at the Layton Golden Corral Restaurant. After breakfast, the children rode along in police, fire, and military vehicles for a slow "lights and siren" drive to the Walmart store. The Layton Walmart donated gift cards toward each child's shopping list. The officers, firefighters, and military personnel walked around the store with the children helping them find items for themselves and their families.
Layton Detective Jackie Bittner said she looks for forward to this event every year. "Shop with a Cop gives us a chance to spend time with the children outside of our regular duties," said Detective Bittner. She said some of the children have a negative perception of law enforcement, and the time spent with these kids can change their feelings about police officers.
The Shop with a Cop program has been in existence for many years, and officers all over Utah donate their own time to participate. Children are typically chosen by the Department of Child and Family Services. Many of these children are underprivileged and in need of financial assistance and a positive influence in their lives. This program continues to provide the chance for law enforcement, firefighters, and military personnel to spend quality time with children in our communities, which is one of the most beneficial and rewarding experiences in our careers.