This little girl's Christmas wish surprised a local cop
By Rylee Marron
Nov. 27, 2016
The little girl only wanted one thing for Christmas.
It wasn’t the prettiest doll or the coolest toy of the year. But to her, it was better than the whole toy section.
"She told me 'you know what? We just have plastic forks and spoons to eat with,'" recalled North Park Police Chief Kim Hawkes, who was the girl’s Shop-With-A-Cop partner last year. "'I would like to get my mom some real metal knives and forks.'"
The annual holiday charity event will move to a new location this year, but Hawkes expects to continue creating memorable experiences like the one he shared with that little girl in 2015.
“There are some kids that are focused on toys. But she was so excited that she could hardly contain herself," Hawkes said. "All she could say was how neat her mom was going to think this gift was that she found.”
Hawkes said there was some concern, when Kmart closed its North Logan store, that Shop-With-A-Cop could come to an end.
“We still felt like the project was worthwhile and we wanted to continue to do it,” he said. “I approached the Walmart in North Logan and asked if they would be interested in participating with us and they said yes they would.”
Hawkes said every law enforcement agency in the valley participates in the Shop-With-A-Cop event, a statewide initiative aimed at supporting children who may have had a negative experience involving law enforcement due to a parent or sibling’s involvement with the justice system.
Participating officers pick up their partner child and drive them with their lights and sirens on to a local store, where they are greeted by Santa and get to shop from their Christmas list.
“Our desire is to just make this a memorable experience for the kids,” Hawkes said. “To be able to associate with us and have them know that we care about them. Also to provide some resources back into their families that will make Christmas Day a little more special.”
Det. Ulysses Black said he looks forward to seeing the thrill of the kids once they walk into the store.
“They are excited to get things for themselves and pick out items for their family members,” Black said.
Black said he believes what matters the most to the police officers is giving the children an experience they will never forget.
"The officers find that with all the things we do on a daily basis, this is one of the highlights and most rewarding experiences,” Hawkes said. “Even if you are assigned with a child that is focused on the toys, there is still a light there and the enthusiasm. The chance you get to work with them and help them through that process is a very rewarding experience.”
Hawkes said there are many reasons to enjoy the event, but the experience he had with the little girl was particularly special.
“I went away with that day just saying this was the greatest experience,” Hawkes said. “For her and for me. With life being as hard as it is, there is still some bright spots. There are people out there that are kind and want to help and be involved with helping people out. So I hope that is something they all go away with.”