Abbotsford Police Department sends Christmas card to 100 criminals

Annual program aimed at encouraging individuals to change their lifestyle

The Abbotsford Police Department has sent out its 2016 Christmas card to about 100 criminals in the city.

The Abbotsford Police Department (APD) has mailed out its annual Christmas greeting to about 100 criminals and troublemakers in the city.

This year’s version shows Santa – again portrayed by Chief Bob Rich – holding out a present. The message on the outside of the card states, “If you stop believing in Santa you get underwear.”

On the inside, it says, “But if you stop believing in yourself you get nowhere.”

This is the fifth year the APD has sent out Christmas cards to individuals involved in gang, drug and property crimes, with the idea that they consider changing their lifestyle.

“We sincerely hope that some of the recipients will reflect on their lives and be motivated to make changes,” said Const. Ian MacDonald.

The cards provide an APD hotline (604-864-4777) for people to call if they are willing to make a change.

MacDonald said a few past recipients have called to commend the APD on the initiative, while others have sought advice or just wanted to talk.

MacDonald recalled that one man called the line to share his story, saying he committed property crimes in order to earn money for survival.

He didn’t believe that he qualified for social assistance, nor did he know how to access it, but he wanted to change his life. The call taker informed him about his options and referred him to the proper sources.

“He seemed very sincere (in wanting to change),” MacDonald said, although he is not sure what happened to the man after that call.

The program – called Operation Resolution – began in 2012 and sparked controversy and international media attention when the greeting card featured the chief dressed as Santa carrying an assault rifle and wearing tactical gear.

Cards from subsequent years have been less bold, but MacDonald said they all convey the same message of encouraging positive change.

(BELOW: The Abbotsford Police Department’s previous Christmas cards are shown, from top to bottom, from the years 2012 to 2015.)

Just Posted

Site C dam goes ahead, cost up to $10.7 billion

Premier John Horgan approves completion of B.C.’s costliest project

Langley RCMP seek man wanted for drug charges

David Main was last seen living in Langley City.

FVRD fire dispatch services to move from Chilliwack to Vancouver

Six part-time jobs eliminated; employees told of the decision two weeks before Christmas

Pellet gun prompts Langley RCMP to respond

A report of a firearm drew a large number of officers to Langley City.

Police converge on Abbotsford home after report of man with a gun

Incident took place Sunday afternoon on McCallum Road

VIDEO: Highstreet Holiday Show

Abbotsford shopping centre brings the holiday spirit

Red Scorpion associates cuffed in drug-trafficking bust

Kamloops RCMP lay charges in connection to Red Scorpion drug trafficking ring

BC Ferries adds extra sailings for Christmas

More than 175 sailings are being added, including 130 between the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island

Emergency response ‘well executed’ in B.C. carbon monoxide poisoning

Emergency Health Services talks about how first responders dealt with this ‘mass casualty event’

Otter Co-op funds wetlands project

Otter Co-Op helps Abbotsford Mission Nature Club build $90,000 wildlife viewing platform

WestJet Christmas video turns children’s wishes into reality

This year’s annual video took a new spin on the 12 days of Christmas

VIDEO: Cloverdale gets ‘Supernatural’ as fog, film crews descend

TV series Supernatural filming today in downtown Cloverdale.

Firefighters protect seaside California towns as blaze rages

A flare-up on the western edge of Southern California’s largest and most destructive wildfire sent residents fleeing Sunday

Putin declares victory on visit to air base in Syria

Declaring a victory in Syria, Putin on Monday visited a Russian military air base in the country and announced a partial pullout of Russian forces from the Mideast nation.

Most Read