Salt Lake County police give back with ‘Shopping With the Shield’

Dec 10, 2022, 6:23 PM | Updated: 7:04 pm

MIDVALE, Utah — Normally, when you see a bunch of police cars outside of a Walmart, it is a sign that something went very wrong, but this time it was a sign everything here was going just right.

The annual “Shopping With the Shield” took place at the Midvale Walmart Saturday morning. It’s an event put on by the Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office and the Unified Police Department to make Christmas for kids a little more special.

“It is super exciting. I was so excited to come and hang out with the kids and everything,” said Deputy Kayla LeFranc. “I think it is a great event. It really is to let them interact with the police and everything.”

For 3-year-old Dahlia Lockhart, she was just busy deciding what she wanted for Christmas.

Whatever she wanted, she could have, and her cart was full.

“My daughter is loving it. She’s like, ‘this is cool, mom,'” said Cherity Lockhart, Dahlia’s mother. “She’s like, I can pick anything?”

If an officer wants to grow facial hair, dye their hair, or paint their fingernails a different color, they will donate money to the cause to get a special uniform waiver since it’s not normally allowed.

That money goes to fund this event and the children chosen are from families the officers have met during the year.

“Officers who went on a call where maybe some violence occurred or officers had to make an arrest, and so the kids have a different view of law enforcement when we’re responding that way, but we bring them back and they get to see another side of police,” said Salt Lake County Sheriff Rosie Rivera.

Officers and deputies raised close to $30,000 this year, which was enough to help about 80 children.

For the Lockhart, it means having a Christmas for their kids they weren’t sure they’d be able to have.

Especially with inflation and the cost of things these days.

“I know it’s not about gifts,” said Cherity. “It is about being with your family, but the smiles on your kids’ faces when they wake up in the morning with all the gifts and to feel like you might not be able to give them that, or as much as you want to give them, I guess, it’s hard. It is hard to think about that.”

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Salt Lake County police give back with ‘Shopping With the Shield’