Hear sirens blaring across the county? Let the shopping begin

Shop with a Cop is an annual event sponsored by local law enforcement officers in Washington County, Hurricane, Utah, Dec. 14, 2013 | Photo by Samantha Tommer, St. George News

WASHINGTON COUNTY – Nothing screams “Merry Christmas” like law enforcement officers driving their vehicles with lights and sirens blazing early Saturday morning, marking an exciting day for many children in Washington County.

The sirens residents are hearing do not signify an emergency taking place but a morning full of Christmas cheer as eager kids get to go shopping with police officers. This is a rare occasion when officers will drive with their lights and sirens on in a nonemergency situation.

KONY Coins for Kids "Shop with a Cop, Hurricane, Utah, Dec. 14, 2013 | Photo by Samantha Tommer, St. George News
KONY Coins for Kids “Shop with a Cop,” Hurricane, Utah, Dec. 14, 2013 | Photo by Samantha Tommer, St. George News

“Shop with a Cop” is an annual event sponsored by the Hurricane City Police Department, Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George Police Department, Santa Clara-Ivins Police Department and Washington City Police Department, giving Washington County children in need the opportunity to have a merry Christmas.

Last year, 100 children received breakfast and personal escorts in law enforcement vehicles to the Bloomington, Washington and Hurricane Wal-Marts, where they picked out the gifts they wanted for Christmas.

This year, 100 more children – chosen to participate through KONY Coins for Kids – will eat breakfast with police officers and then be paired with cops and given $150 to buy presents. Last year, many children did not buy gifts for themselves but used the money to buy gifts for their siblings instead.

“As Christmas rolls around each year, I am excited to take part in the ‘Shop with a Cop’ event,” Chief Jim Keith, of the Washington City Police Department, said. “This is an opportunity for me to make a difference personally and professionally in a child’s life. It is a priority in our department to have officers from our agency share in this experience each Christmas season.”

So, as residents hear sirens blaring this early Saturday morning, they should not be alarmed but should share in the thrill that “Shop with a Cop” will bring youth in the community.

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  • mom of 4 December 13, 2014 at 8:43 am

    All law enforcement! That includes BLM, State Parks and Reserve officers! Please include all the Law Enforcement agencies that do get involved in this awesome event. They love doing this event just as much as the agencies already listed. Thanks

    • Joyce Kuzmanic December 13, 2014 at 9:54 am

      They will be recognized for sure, mom of 4. Watch for our event coverage to follow. 🙂
      ST. GEORGE NEWS | STGnews.com
      Joyce Kuzmanic
      Editor in Chief

    • Vet December 13, 2014 at 8:47 pm

      Our local police are ausom.

  • Disappointed in law enforcement December 13, 2014 at 8:46 am

    I cant believe Washington County could be so irresponsible! Sirens are for emergency purposes, why desensitize people to their sound. This morning neighbors are throwing survival gear in their cars, kids are scared to death crying in their room, I start dragging out every gun I have. To the rest of the world seeing massive amounts of law enforcement blazing through town is an emergency. What I saw this morning would be equivalent to a terrorist response, a mad gunman, or something major. So angry to see that this is just a stupid Christmas promotion. What moron approved this, oh yeah is there anyone left to respond to an actual emergency….Washington County Law Enforcement (a.k.a. the boy who cried wolf) I hope nothing major ever happens hear, no one will react “just another P.R. event for law enforcement”. Snap out of it Barney Fife, a Christmas promo should not take that kind of man power, resources, and tax payers money.

    • Joe Smith December 13, 2014 at 10:04 am

      Yeah I ran out to my back yard and was digging a really big, deep hole as quickly as i could. I THOUGHT IS WAS OBAMA COME TO TAKE THE GUNS!!!

    • for the children December 13, 2014 at 10:23 am

      Get back in your hole… You are a disgrace to society !

    • Schwa December 13, 2014 at 10:33 am

      Yes, Cynthia, We know you hate Law Enforcement. All those Sirens made you think the DEA and the Drug Task Force was coming for your stash. That’s why your “husband” grabbed his guns, getting ready for a no-knock warrant. -*sarcasm*

      Get real, Lady. If you really live under a rock, like your comments indicate, please stay there. Don’t flood these articles with comments that show off your unbelievable level of stupidity and naivete. The amount of car accidents that occur here already indicates that there are more stupid people then we know what to do with. So please stay in your hole!

      • Disappointed in law enforcement December 13, 2014 at 1:21 pm

        I don’t hate law enforcement…It says “disappointed in law enforcement. I do disagree with the choice to use an emergency signal such as a sirens . I don’t use drugs, I don’t even take aspirin for a headache. In all of the bashing, assumptions, and slander you never addressed the need to utilize sirens in such a manner. Great for the kids, keep the program. It just needs some modification…most people have a lifetime of indoctrination that a siren is an alert to danger. I agree with “for the children” in that “This program is great, allows kids to have a Christmas which otherwise would go without. This also helps the kids learn and gain respect for our law enforcers. Keep it up… It’s needed in our community.”…WHY THE NEED FOR SUCH THE SIRENS?

        • Mike December 13, 2014 at 6:35 pm

          It is hard to be desensitized to sirens when this event happens once a year. And why the need for the sirens? Because the kids like it. Maybe not your kids who you must have taught to be paranoid, but kids watching or riding in emergency vehicles ask for the sirens. It is part of their fun. Merry Christmas

          • koolaid December 14, 2014 at 6:37 am

            What if the little kiddies wanted to go 100 mph on a city street? Do you call up Lars and accommodate that whim as well? Shoot boy, the old folks probably were scared that all of Dixie was afire and burning down.

    • Whatever December 13, 2014 at 11:50 am

      Give me a break! Bah humbug to you! The public was notified of this and I think it’s a wonderful act of service. Thank you law enforcement.

    • My Evil Twin December 13, 2014 at 12:18 pm

      Hey Disappointed and Joe, if I thought either one of you two were serious in your posts, then it would be obvious that Dumb and Dumber have come to live in Dixie. Unless you have had your head buried in the sand, (or perhaps someplace else,) you had full knowledge of what was going to happen this morning. It happens every year.

      And not all of us residents and taxpayers are SCROOGE. I think it is a really cool thing for the agencies to do. Of course you have a right to your own opinion, but come on guys, get a life.

      • Toe Jam December 13, 2014 at 11:25 pm

        Dumb and Dumber live in Dixie Downs

        • Koolaid December 14, 2014 at 9:15 pm

          Dumb and Dumber is what that big “D” on the hillside stands for. Dumb and Dumber are synonymous with Sheeple.

    • ladybugavenger December 13, 2014 at 3:35 pm

      Don’t make Christmas ugly

    • copwife disappointed in humanity December 13, 2014 at 6:26 pm

      These were all off duty officers, and some of their spouses and kids, volunteering their time. The only way the taxpayers pay for any of this is by shopping at Walmart, because Walmart donates the money for the gifts. Any officers that were scheduled to work during the event were on duty in their respective areas, so there were just as many cops patrolling the street as normal. If you really think about 50 cop cars driving down the highway with their lights/sirens on at a reasonable speed equals emergency, think again! If there was a huge emergency, don’t you think they’d be going as fast as they could? Those kids got to turn them on, and many said afterwards that they want to be cops when they grow up. Pretty much every agency in the state participate in this event throughout the month. I had the opportunity to join my husband in the back of his police truck this year, and I think the highlight for the little boy was having the siren on, he loved it! It’s not a Christmas promo or a pr stunt, it’s a wonderful day that these kids will remember for the rest of their lives! It’s been happening every year for a very long time, get used to it. If you don’t like it, go live somewhere where they don’t celebrate the holidays.

      • My Evil Twin December 13, 2014 at 8:25 pm

        Unless I missed something, I didn’t see anyone complaining about the cost to the taxpayer. I certainly wasn’t, I just mentioned that as a taxpayer I think it is great.

        Of course there is cost associated with this that the departments pick up. The officers very graciously donate their time, but it is the departments that foot the bill for the transportation. But realizing that is certainly not the same as complaining about it.

        I don’t know when this got started, but as a retired LEO I can tell you that I would have loved to be a part of it. But where I worked, it just wasn’t done.

      • Vet December 13, 2014 at 9:10 pm

        thank your husband for me for his service our local police are some of the best .

      • GladImNotWhite December 15, 2014 at 12:58 pm

        *Note: What you and your husband do in the back of “his” police car is your own business. I wish I could say my experiences in the back of a police car were not pleasant. Now that I think of it, the 3 yrs I spent on patrol driving one was not all that great either!

    • Vet December 13, 2014 at 9:35 pm

      I was at Walmart when the police came down I 15 and into walmart you could see the kids faces in the police cars, they where laughing and having fun. There must have been 50 cars all with their sirens and lights on.
      These officers are volunteering their time to this charity and I commend them all for there service.
      They don’t get payed enought.
      I am so proud of my country its police the military the FBI the CIA for keeping use safe.

    • KOOLAID December 14, 2014 at 10:23 am

      I thought it was a major stakeout and bust of some illegal dance parties

  • Marco December 13, 2014 at 9:20 am

    Really cool thing to do for the kids.

  • alarmed December 13, 2014 at 9:22 am

    I’m all for a Christmas promo and I’m all for the kids. I really don’t believe an emergency signal is the way to do it. You wouldn’t pull a fire alarm to celebrate New Years…It’s kind of silly.

  • Stoney December 13, 2014 at 9:51 am

    Was through Hurricane last summer when we went to Zion & Bryce. Wasn’t too impressive for a town that’s the gateway to the canyons.
    The Comfort Inn was the dirtiest one I’ve ever been in, with an overflowing trash can & dirty cleaning rag on the counter in the room.
    We would have left, but had a reservation, it was late, & the prospects of another vacancy at a hotel that might be even worse were dim.
    JB’s Restaurant was very good, service excellent, though.

    • Ex-con December 13, 2014 at 10:03 am

      What does this have to do with “shop with a cop”?

    • for the children December 13, 2014 at 10:28 am

      Because he is stoned and forgot he already vented this same issue a few months ago. Sober up Stoney !

  • for the children December 13, 2014 at 10:31 am

    This program is great, allows kids to have a Christmas which otherwise would go without. This also helps the kids learn and gain respect for our law enforcers. Keep it up… It’s needed in our community.

    • Koolaid December 13, 2014 at 1:59 pm

      Nothing against the kids, but maybe the area culture needs to stop encouraging people to have a bunch of kids they can’t afford and who become dependent on social welfare programs or fundraiser handout programs.

      • Vet December 13, 2014 at 8:39 pm

        Koolaid, are you off your medication? have you been seeing your therapist?
        There is much worse places you don’t have to look far . Your views are very dark I hope your not planning a jehad .
        I don’t know you but , Adam Lanza comes to mind.
        I think you need help.

  • Joe Smith December 14, 2014 at 11:51 am

    how do they choose the poor kids that get to do this? Is it some kind of lottery or somethin? What happens to the 1000s of poor kids that didn’t get to shop w a cop?

    • DUEMAS December 14, 2014 at 12:22 pm

      Joe, I am convinced you and Koolaid do not know how to read. The article clearly stated the children where chosen through the Kony coins for kids program. You and Koolaid need to do the community a favor, get off of your a….*, learn to read, get a job, and stop trolling. Pathetic excuse for a human being, duemas. On a brighter note way to go to our local LEO’s for the jobs they do and for being a part of this great event. Merry Christmas!
      *Ed. ellipses

    • Herd December 14, 2014 at 12:52 pm

      Via bishop and ward recommends?

    • laytonian December 14, 2014 at 3:18 pm

      People put their kids’ names in to various charities and so do social workers.

      We had an interesting Christmas a few years ago. Our daughter and son-in-law had taken in a teenaged foster son, who presented us with a long list of fairly expensive items. Between us and our daughter, we filled the list to the tune of over $1,000.
      THEN, on Christmas Eve, the boy’s social worker showed up with “gifts from the Angel Tree” in Salt Lake City.
      Yup. A family had picked the name of this “poor” boy off the Angel Tree, and the social worker brought over several packages from the family.

      We asked the social worker about WHY, and she said they’re told to put ALL the kids’ names in (even though the foster family was being paid $1700 a month to care for the boy).

      We used to pick a name from the Angel Tree, but no longer. IF children who were truly “poor” were there, we’d feel good about it …. but the only “poor” people were those fooled by the social worker and Angel Tree people.

      There is a LOT of competition for “poor”. What should happen is that homeless shelters be canvassed.

  • Yeah for the kids, why sirens December 15, 2014 at 12:14 pm

    Good cause or not, use of emergency sirens in such a way is illegal according to Utah Title 41 Chapter 6a Section 1625…
    Title 41
    Motor Vehicles
    Chapter 6a
    Traffic Code
    Section 1625
    Horns and warning devices — Emergency vehicles.

    41-6a-1625. Horns and warning devices — Emergency vehicles.
    (1) (a) A motor vehicle operated on a highway shall be equipped with a horn or other warning device in good working order.
    (b) The horn or other warning device:
    (i) shall be capable of emitting sound audible under normal conditions from a distance of not less than 200 feet; and
    (ii) may not emit an unreasonably loud or harsh sound or a whistle.
    (c) The operator of a motor vehicle:
    (i) when reasonably necessary to insure safe operation, shall give audible warning with the horn; and
    (ii) except as provided under Subsection (1)(c)(i), may not use the horn on a highway.
    (2) Except as provided under this section, a vehicle may not be equipped with and a person may not use on a vehicle a siren, whistle, or bell.
    (3) (a) A vehicle may be equipped with a theft alarm signal device if it is arranged so that it cannot be used by the operator as an ordinary warning signal.
    (b) A theft alarm signal device may:
    (i) use a whistle, bell, horn or other audible signal; and
    (ii) not use a siren.
    (4) (a) An authorized emergency vehicle shall be equipped with a siren, whistle, or bell capable of emitting sound audible under normal conditions from a distance of not less than 500 feet.
    (b) The type of sound shall be approved by the department based on standards adopted by rules under Section 41-6a-1601.
    (c) The siren on an authorized emergency vehicle may not be used except:
    (i) when the vehicle is operated in response to an emergency call; or
    (ii) in the immediate pursuit of an actual or suspected violator of the law.
    (d) The operator of an authorized emergency vehicle shall sound the siren in accordance with this section when reasonably necessary to warn pedestrians and other vehicle operators of the approach of the authorized emergency vehicle.

    • Merry Christmas! December 15, 2014 at 2:06 pm

      Geez people. Get over it.

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