UTA Transit Police officers are working hard to keep people warm this winter. Every officer carries gloves, hats, blankets and sleeping bags in their vehicles that they can distribute to folks in need. The initiative was started last winter by UTA Transit Police Officer Bryant Adams.
Adams said that while on patrol, he noticed many homeless people out in the cold weather without hats and gloves to help keep them warm. He decided to take action after seeing a family on the street, clearly underdressed for the weather.
“I saw a homeless mother and her kids out without hats or gloves, and that’s what really sparked it,” he said.
Adams worked with his brother to gather donations. Ogden’s St. James the Just Catholic Church donated new sleeping bags, blankets and adult and children’s clothing. Adams’ brother gathered more gently-used winter items from community as part of his Eagle Scout project. All told, Adams and his brother collected enough donations to fill 20 to 30 55-gallon bags.
People are typically surprised and grateful when officers give them clothing, Adams said. The blankets, gloves and hats may be the first brand-new items homeless people have received in years. The effort also gives officers a way to leave a positive impression on a population that is often fearful of police.
“It definitely helps with perceptions,” he said.