SALT LAKE CITY — Salt Lake City Police officers, Explorers, and civilians will kick off the first ever Police Pay It Forward event tomorrow morning, December 16, at 6 a.m.
Police Pay It Forward is a program that rewards children ages 6-12 with the opportunity to partner with a police officer to shop for holiday gifts in December, and school items in August. We work with the Utah Department of Child and Family Services, the Salt Lake City School District, and the International Refugee Center to identify children who are in need and would benefit from a positive interaction with a police officer. Funds for the program are collected through donations from internal personnel and external organizations.
Salt Lake City Police officers participated in the kick-off of this event in November and December by donating money to purchase “privilege cards” that allowed officers to deviate from their normal grooming standards. Males were allowed to grow beards, and women were allowed to dye a streak of their hair to any color. In the two-month span officers donated over $9,000.
The event starts at 6 a.m. at Little America, where children are paired with a police officer. Together the dynamic duos eat breakfast, convoy in police vehicles to Walmart—where kids will get to visit with Santa—and then shop for Christmas gifts for the children and their families.
Reporters are invited to join the fun at any point between 6 and 9 a.m. Saturday, December 16.
WHO: Children from Backman, Escalante, Rose Park, and Parkview Elementary School and others selected by DCFS; Santa; officers from SLCPD and UofU PD
WHAT: Inaugural Police Pay It Forward event
WHEN: Event runs 6-9 a.m. Saturday December 16, 2017
6:00 a.m.: Officers paired with children; breakfast at Little America
6:45 a.m.: Convoy to Walmart begins
7:15 a.m.: Santa’s visit at Walmart
8-9 a.m.: Shopping and wrapping gifts
*= times are rough estimates as event moves between locations
WHERE: Little America, 500 S. Main St. Salt Lake City
Walmart, 2705 E. Parleys Way, Salt Lake City
VISUALS: Officers meet kids and eat breakfast at Little America
Convoy staged on 500 South (north side of Little America)
Convoy to Walmart
Convoy arrives at Walmart
Santa visits children at Walmart
Officers and kids shop for gifts
Volunteers wrap gifts
CONTACT: Community Programs Manager Dustin Parks (801) 799-3367