Originally posted on torontopolice.on.ca by Ron Fanfair
Officers from 41 Division teamed up with Emergency Medical Services and Toronto Fire personnel, new Mayor Rob Ford and hundreds of volunteers to bring Christmas cheer to needy families in the city.
Led by Sgt. Doug Campbell and an eight-man crew, the officers helped pack food hampers at the fourth annual Project Engagement Xmas drive led by city councillor and new Toronto Police Service board member Michael Thompson at Ellesmere Community Centre.
“This is the first time I am doing this and I am so happy to be here,” said Campbell.
“It’s just a pleasure to come out and help in the community. My officers were more than eager to be present at this event.”
Thompson, who along with Vince Gasparro conceived the project idea to help needy families during the Christmas holidays, appreciated the police’s presence.
“The police are part of the community,” Thompson said.
“Everything we do that engage stakeholders such as the police is vital. They provide us with a very crucial role of not only manpower, but they are engaged and very supportive of what we do. When people see the police coming in with goodies to help them, they are very appreciative.”
The police helped pack turkeys, hams, fresh produce and canned goods that were distributed to nearly 200 families on December 22.
“We have always made a commitment to involve the police in pretty well everything that we do here because we want people to see them as members of the community and respect not only the institution but the officers,” Thompson said.
“Councillor Thompson and the Project Engagement team have captured the essence of community building as well as the true holiday spirit,” Ford said.
“Toronto needs to engage people from all sectors and all walks of life to solve the city’s challenges.”
Chef Suman Roy prepared breakfast for the volunteers.