Annual Shop With a Cop Program Returning to Assist Castle Country Youngsters for the Holiday Season


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The local Shop With a Cop program has taken place during the holiday season for well over 20 years. This program, aimed at assisting local youngsters that would likely not have holiday excitement otherwise, is participated in by officials from the Price City Police Department, Carbon County Sheriff’s Department, Helper, Wellington and East Carbon Police departments as well as the Utah Highway Patrol.

Price City Police Sergeant Kelly Maynes has personally been involved with the program for the last 15 years, having been placed in charge three years prior. Through the PCPD, the funds and schedule are established. The program is 100% grant and donation funded. Currently, Sgt. Maynes is working to receive two separate grants, one through the Walmart Community Grant and one through the Utah Police Civilian Association.

Each year, there are many citizens that wish to help with the program. An account has been established through the Price City Utilities Office that is strictly for donations for Shop With a Cop. Anytime throughout the year, those wishing to donate may visit the office to do so. The donations are tax deductible. Donations are preferred to be made in advance rather than while the shopping process is taking place.

Individuals often question how to sign their children up for the program. Sgt. Maynes expressed that the officers go through the United Way of Eastern Utah, Carbon School District and the individual schools as well as information received from patrol officers to choose. For the most part, children are selected that would otherwise not have a Christmas experience if not for Shop With a Cop.

The day begins with those chosen meeting at the Tuscan Event Center to enjoy a free breakfast, provided by McDonalds, with the officers. From there, the parents are sent ahead to Walmart and the children are able to ride with the officers and learn how their sirens work. A makeshift parade then takes place from the Tuscan to Walmart with about 30 law enforcement vehicles.

Upon arrival at Walmart, the children are then released with the assigned officer to spend an allotted amount of money. Oftentimes, Sgt. Maynes reflected, the children will first choose to spend the money on family members rather than themselves. The children choose to purchase new work shoes for their fathers or to provide a full breakfast on Christmas morning.

According to Sgt. Maynes, when this occurs, it isn’t uncommon for the officer to spend money from their pocket to also purchase an item for the child. He expressed his awe in the Castle Country community for always being willing to step up and help out whenever needed, which has been demonstrated many times.

“We appreciate the community and everybody that steps up to help,” Sgt. Maynes stated.

Shop With a Cop will take place this year on Dec. 15 beginning at 9 a.m. at the Tuscan Event Center. Families chosen will be notified at least a week in advance.

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