The youth of St. St. George is set for annual holiday shopping – St George News | Jobs Reply

ST. GEORGE — Local Walmarts have been raided by police and other law enforcement personnel, and select children are leading the way through the Police Department Store event.

Santa and Mrs. Claus were there to help the youth shop at the annual store with a police officer, Dec. 10, 2022 | Photo by Nick Yamashita, St. George News

The annual shopping event began with about 55 police officers, staff and 150 youth at the Gardner Student Center at Utah Tech University for a pancake breakfast.

Each child was paired with a law enforcement officer from the St. Louis Police Department. George, Santa Clara/Ivins and Utah Tech.

Officers are assigned 1-3 youth each, preferably siblings, with a wish list for each child selected by school personnel and other referral resources.

Even Santa and Mrs. Claus took a break from Christmas preparations to visit and bring sweets and happiness to all.

After everyone was hungry, the kids got into police cars and became part of a procession to the Walmart in Bloomington. Along the way, the children could open the sirens and try them on.

As the procession entered the parking lot, Walmart employees, volunteers and shoppers stood and waved.

Volunteers include members of the local community from organizations such as Toys for Tots, Desert Rodders Car Club, military veterans and family members of law enforcement.

The City of Washington Police Department, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office and the Hurricane Police Department are holding their own police booth and meeting at the Washington County Fairgrounds. They raided the Walmart located in Hurricane at the same time.

“It’s us doing our part, being part of the community and making sure the kids in our area are taken care of during the holidays,” said Bloomington Walmart store manager Jamie Petrey. “We like to do it like a store. As an individual, we love to see you every year. “

Officers and staff were there with their families and wives, selected children were leading the shopping carts with smiles on their faces after a group photo was taken.

Police Chief of St. George Ladarius Delaney shows the reason for the season with peace signs at the annual Shop with a Cop event, Dec. 10, 2022 | Photo by Nick Yamashita, St. George News

Officers were smiling and laughing, while others, like Officer Ladarius Delaney, made peace signs.

Even Chief Deputy Thad Feltner spent time telling Santa what he wanted.

Adds Captain Curtis Spragg: “This is the best assignment of the year.”

Each child was given a spending limit of $150, a grant from the Store through the police program. Other funds came from Toys for Tots, KONY Coins for Kids, Desert Rodders Car Club and individual or corporate donations.

Desert Rodders and other Walmart employees have been busy working as gift wrappers.

Even the special officer who got the most attention from the youth, a member of the K-9 unit, was there wagging his tail. K-9 Officer Emma and her handler Anthony Ott and Officer Kyle Loethen helped shop for the other youth.

“I’ve been with the program for 15 years,” said senior Lona Trombley. “I have noticed that when children grow up and we interact with them socially, they like the way it is one of the highlights of their childhood memories.”

Trombley is the coordinator of the annual event for the St. Louis Police Department. George. He said this program is important in helping children to feel comfortable in a law-abiding environment.

“Sometimes adults need time just like kids, and we’re the ones taking the time,” Trombley said.

After each officer and their children are assigned and go to where they pay. The police officer took them to the police station to deliver gifts to the children’s home while leaving them to tell their families about the holiday shopping with the police officer.

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