Left to right: RCMP Const. Guneet Pannu

White Rock RCMP toy drive planned

Police collecting toys, gift cards to help families at Christmas.

How many children’s toys can fit inside a police cruiser?

That’s the mystery the White Rock RCMP wants to solve with its inaugural Fill up the Police Car Christmas Toy Drive for the Salvation Army.

On and off for the past 20 years, the White Rock RCMP detachment has put together a Christmas hamper for a family in need. Officers never publicized the act.

This year, the police have decided to join other detachments in the toy drive, which has collected thousands of toys across many RCMP jurisdictions.

The police are requesting new, unwrapped toys for children ages one through 17.

“I would suggest that people try to donate a variety. Colleen Kimberley (Salvation Army pastor) suggested if you wanted to provide for the older ones – which sometimes kind of get left out – a Chapters card or a Wal-Mart card can be useful. The parent can either choose or they can pick something that’s appropriate for them,” said RCMP crime prevention co-ordinator and event organizer, Julia Everett.

Everett said events like this bring everyone together for the betterment of the community.

“We need to come together all throughout the year, but it’s nice at Christmas. It does give you a very warm feeling when you see the people come out for those in need,” she said.

Police will be collecting toys Dec. 4 from 1 to 4 p.m. at Central Plaza (15100 block of North Bluff Road) in front of Nature’s Fare.

The RCMP will set up a drive-thru toy drop-off Dec. 7 at the White Rock detachment (15299 Pacific Ave.) rear parking lot. The drive-thru will be open from 7:30 to 10:30 a.m.

Everett said events such as this are important for police because it allows officers to interact with civilians in a positive way.

“A lot of times it’s not always a positive connection when people deal with the police. We do try – between open houses and work shops and all sorts of things – to show other aspects of policing,” Everett said.

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