Nothing appeals to the emotions of a community more than supporting those who protect and serve. This sentiment spoke bounds of truth during the inaugural “Skate with a Cop” held February 7 at Skateaway in Wilkes-Barre, Pa.

The event was created by Brian Feist – on behalf of Shield Technology Inc., creator of the PopShield – and local business owner and DJ Donnie Evans.

The goal of the event was to get as many PopShields – deployable bulletproof shields that weight just 6 pounds each – into the possession of as many law enforcement members as possible. Skate with a Cop brought the best out of local businesses and community sponsors that purchased a PopShield at a discounted rate and donated it to the law enforcement of their choice. When the event began, at most Feist and Evans expected to the community to support five PopShields. This number more than quadrupled; when Skate with a Cop wrapped up, a total of 62 shields were donated.

But additional sponsors have stepped up after reading about the event in local news reports, and that number is expected to grow quickly.

Over 600 people were present, including local politicians and nearly 20 different local police departments, some bringing along K-9 Units and nearly all in full uniform. Also, around 20 service vehicles were on display in the Skateaway parking lot.

Before the community actually got to skate with a cop, State Rep. Eddie Day Pashinski, D-Wilkes-Barre, sang the national anthem. The local community’s spirit was high, and as the three-hour event continued, numerous participants made additional donations, including Brenda Pugh, the CEO of AMP Global Strategies.

Kuharchik Construction, Inc. it was one of the sponsors and donated two PopShileds for the Law Enforcement.