Kingston, Ont. police, bylaw officers giving back for the holidays


For close to a decade, Kingston police officers have joined area youth for some Christmas shopping through a outreach program called ‘Shop with a Cop’.

This year, 15 students in grades 7 and 8 were given $400 to buy gifts for friends and family at the Cataraqui Centre.

Const. Valerie Hurding says the program allows youth to see past the police uniform and realize officers are just regular people.

“To me, this is what matters. This is so important and I wish we could do it for every kid in Kingston,” said Hurding.

Officers and the youth stroll the mall, shopping and talking, and student Ivan Morrow says the day with a police officer has changed his perspective about police.

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“It’s actually been, like, really fun. I was really excited to do this,” said Morrow.

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The City of Kingston By-Law department was also getting in the Christmas spirit and doing its part for children in the community as well.

For the last 10 years the municipality has been operating its ‘Toys for Tickets’ program.

Parking tickets handed out in the months of November and December can be paid for with a gift of equal or greater value than the fine on the ticket.

The toys are then delivered to the Salvation Army for distribution to families in need.

“This is the one time of the year we actually see a smile on a person’s face when they’re coming in to pay a ticket,” said Dan Hazell, supervisor of enforcement services for the City of Kingston.

“They have the ticket in their hand and they have a big old toy in the other hand, and we actually get to have that thankful, appreciative moment in time.”

This year 119 tickets were paid for with a toy.

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Bylaw department staff estimate the value of the toys is about $3,000.

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