New police car design unveiled to surprise 5th-grade art contest winner

Apr 3, 2024, 7:07 PM | Updated: 7:25 pm

HERRIMAN — Police crime scene tape is usually a sure sign of something bad that happened.

It’s even more concerning when the tape surrounds a car covered in a tarp outside an elementary school.

However, even though she has children who attend Butterfield Canyon Elementary School in Herriman, Kristina Allen wasn’t worried at about what she saw Wednesday morning.

That’s because she was in on the big secret.

“I think the school got a couple of calls about it,” she said with a laugh. “We had actually been told about a month ago and we had to keep it a surprise for a month.”

Her son, Jaeden, didn’t know about the secret when his 5th-grade class was called outside for a special assembly.

When Herriman Police Detective Marisha Manzano called his name and asked him to come up, he remembered an art contest he entered to design a Herriman DARE police car.

When police unveiled that car, with a lightning bolts design and all, he was shocked.

“I was so surprised and so excited. I’m still shaking,” Jaeden Allen said.

The police car with Jaeden's lightning bolt design

The police car is covered with Jaeden’s design which includes lightning bolts. (Aubrey Shafer, KSL TV)

Not only did he instantly become the most popular kid at school with his classmates cheering and chanting his name, but Jaeden also helped raise awareness for a drug awareness program his principal believes in.

“They are exposed to things at an early age. Sometimes too early,” Jay Eads said. He is the principal of Butterfield Canyon Elementary. “So, I think having a program like this that reinforces positivity and good choices and build positive relationships, that is critical too.”

As far as that lightning bolt design – “My thinking was police cars usually have to chase some people, which I want the police car to go fast. So, I put a few lightning bolts on it,” Jaeden Allen said.

Jaden with officer

An officer lets Jaeden take a closer look at his design. (Aubrey Shafer, KSL TV)

His mother couldn’t have been any prouder of her little Picasso.

And since his autograph is also on the car, maybe it will help mom or dad if they ever get caught speeding. 

“Fingers crossed,” said his mother with a laugh. “I am so proud of him and happy for him. He loves art. He loves anything to do with art. Painting, drawing, coloring. He loves it all.”

Jaeden's signature

The new car design includes Jaeden’s signature. (Aubrey Shafer, KSL TV)

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New police car design unveiled to surprise 5th-grade art contest winner