Bowling with a cop program begins at Bonwood Bowl
Feb 27, 2017 04:01PM ● Published by Brian Shaw
An outside look at Bonwood Bowl in South Salt Lake. (Nate Grigg)
For years, Bonwood Bowl played second fiddle to its larger neighbor, Ritz Classic Bowl. But now that the Ritz has permanently closed, Bonwood has taken over as the No. 1 bowling destination in South Salt Lake.
Leagues are thriving more than ever before and it's a family-oriented place that is busy every day of the week. So bringing in the South Salt Lake Police Department to oversee their new “Bowling With A Cop” event is just another way to usher in new people who may not have been introduced to the sport.
Once a month starting on Feb. 16, area youth ages 8-18 get the chance to bowl for free with the police officers who patrol South Salt Lake streets and neighborhoods.
From the police department's perspective, there's also a community tie-in. Across the country, police departments are having trouble communicating their wants and needs to a public saturated with what many perceive is misinformation. The South Salt Lake Police Department is trying to change that misconception.
“The main purpose is to reach out to the youth in our community,” said Sgt. Bill Hogan of the South Salt Lake Police Department. “We police officers are human. You can trust us because we enjoy having a good time as well.”
Hogan added that the secondary aim is to establish friendships with kids ages 8-18 whom the department may not yet have had the privilege to come into contact with.
“In doing this, we hope to build relationships with our youth and make them productive members of our society,” added Hogan. “We will run into each other at some point, and hopefully that contact is positive, but now you can put a face with an officer and build some trust with us.”
In Hogan's opinion, it is absolutely critical with all of the problems taking place around the country in inner cities to reach out to those who may feel marginalized and disenfranchised.
“Any kind of relationship that we can foster is good,” said Hogan. “We want our children to know they're important members of our community.”
The children that the department has targeted for this particular program—although it's open to all South Salt Lake residents between the ages of 8-18—are those who haven't come into contact with the Police Athletic League, either because the kids show no interest in sports like boxing or basketball—or because they are new to the area.
According to Hogan, Bonwood has been instrumental and critical in making this event happen.
“I would consider them our partner is this,” said Hogan, who is restarting a program that the department last had in place about 15 years ago—and that he himself attended. “They're giving us a very good discount on this. We're paying for the lanes and shoes. We hope that it grows and we get sponsors and grants.”
For more info, contact Bonwood Bowl at 801-487-7758.