SPRINGVILLE, Utah (ABC4 News) – The Mateer family has had a summer of service. After launching their ‘Cookies for Cops’ initiative in June, the Mateers visited all police stations, highway patrol, and sheriff offices in Utah while even visiting a handful of stations in Nevada, Wyoming, Idaho, and Arizona.
Their goal? To simply visit every law enforcement agency in Utah and thank them in-person with cookies for each officer. So, 3,212 miles, 692 boxes of Chip Cookies, and 6,228 cookies later, the Mateer family has accomplished what they set out to do this summer.
Once ABC4 aired the ‘Behind the Badge’ segment on the Mateer family, ABC4 viewers felt the urge to jump in and donate to the Mateer’s ‘Cookies for Cops’ GoFundMe account. ABC4 readers and viewers helped them earn an additional $4,000 to go towards ‘Cookies for Cops’.
So with the additional money received, the Mateer family quickly went to work to visit every police station in the state.
“It was a lot of driving. There were eight to ten hour days some days because of trying to reach all the rural areas,” says the mother, Crystal Mateer. “We were out most nights until 5 a.m. so we met a lot of officers on the graveyard shift.”
When asked why this summer of service has been such an amazing experience for her young family, Mateer said, “I think it was just the officers that made this experience amazing. It was wonderful to see these people and see more of what they do.”
“It was so cool, especially with everything going on right now-politically, health-wise with the COVID stuff–so we just thought how cool is this that we just get to serve and focus on our officers and all that they do for us. Our kids just absolutely loved it,” Mateer goes on to say about her 2, 5, and 8-year-old.
Although a box of cookies is a small gesture for such a grand calling, the Mateer’s call the cop’s reaction to receiving the cookies “humbling”.
“One officer (that we met) was really emotional about what we were doing and he went to his car and came back and he gave me a thin-blue line ribbon that he had worn to his police partner’s funeral,” Mateer says of the emotional experience. “When you get out there and hear these types of stories and realize what they sacrifice and how scary their jobs can be…it is all because they have fantastic hearts and they want to serve. They love their communities.”
Another experience the Mateer family had was when they visited the Taylorsville Police. The family met a police officer who said his partner was the first one on the scene during an auto-pedestrian accident that left a two-year-old twin girl dead and left her mother and twin sister in the hospital.
“His partner was the first one on the scene…trying to resuscitate the two-year-old and one of the two-year-olds died in his arms,” says Mateer. “Like those are the calls they respond to and that officer just went home and broke down and he was like ‘we have kids, we are family people and we have to go on these calls all the time where we lose children’. (Cops) have to hold and comfort somebody when a spouse or child just died. They are the first ones there to be comforters and people don’t see that. Every time cops respond to calls, they don’t know what is going to happen,” says Mateer.
With a cookie in every officer’s hand in Utah, what’s next for the Mateer family? Although the Mateer children will be starting school in a few weeks, they have told their parents they want to try to venture to other states on the weekends to begin thanking other cops.
If you would like to donate to the Mateer family and their ‘Cookies for Cops’ efforts, you can visit their GoFundMe account.