‘A chance for us to do something good’: EPS officers buy Christmas gifts for Edmonton kids

Edmonton Police Service officers were scouring Londonderry Mall Wednesday in search of Christmas gifts for local elementary students.

Members of EPS served as personal shoppers for students from two northeast Edmonton schools after receiving Christmas wish lists for 20 children. The kids range in age from five-years-old to nine-years-old.

“This is a chance for us to do something good. To do something for the kids and to be seen in a good light. So do I enjoy it? Absolutely,” said Sgt. Shelby Cech.

Londonderry Mall offered up $4,000 in gift cards for the officers to spend as part of their CopShop event.

“A lot of these children wouldn’t have the same type of Christmas, a lot of them wouldn’t even get gifts,” said Vanessa Treleaven from Londonderry Mall. “This helps to create that great experience.”

The event helps to foster a positive relationship between EPS members and children who have had negative experiences with police in the past, said Treleaven.

The kids can put whatever they want on their wish list, and many don’t just ask for toys.

“Actually a lot of kids want gifts for family members, so that’s the overwhelming thing we’re seeing is a lot of generosity with this gift card,” said Treleaven.

EPS says the response from its members was overwhelming, with some officers coming in on their day off to participate.

“I think they’re having a lot of fun with it, I mean it’s so different from their regular duties. They’re in a good mood. They’re super happy to be here,” said Treleaven.

In past years, the students chosen would accompany officers on the shopping spree.

The event had to be modified because of the pandemic. This year officers shopped alone and then delivered the presents to the schools.

“It’s a chance for us to make contact in a different way, and for them to see us as community partners and friends. So that’s going to be a great part,” said Cech.

Last year the event was cancelled due to COVID-19.

View original article here Source