Abbotsford Police send out annual Christmas card

This year's greeting goes out to youth 'who have made poor choices'

This is the Christmas card that the Abbotsford Police Department is sending out this year to youth who are at risk of becoming criminals.

Young people who have made poor decisions will be among those receiving a festive message from the Abbotsford Police Department (APD) this year.

The APD is sending out about 75 to 100 Christmas cards for the third consecutive year to people in the city “who have made poor choices which have negatively impacted themselves and the community,” said Const. Ian MacDonald.

This year’s card depicts the door of a jail cell decorated for the holidays. A distraught man – with his head hung and his hands clasping the bars of the window – is also shown.

The message states, “Deck the cells with boughs of holly.”

The inside of the card states, “You hold the key to your future. Use it wisely.” A phone number is provided for a police hotline (604-864-4777) that anyone can call if they need assistance to change their life.

“We want to encourage them to make better choices and for them to know that they have the ability to pick a constructive, rather than destructive, life path,” MacDonald said.

He said the APD began working on the card about three months ago, and was inspired to reach out to youth with whom police have had interactions.

These include the two groups of young men involved in the ongoing Townline Hill conflict, which has included numerous incidents of vandalism and mischief, as well as assaults and arson.

MacDonald said police want to reach out to these people before they become hardened criminals.

He said those who call the hotline will receive whatever support they need from the APD, including linking them with needed services, to change their lives.

The APD first began the Christmas card program – called Operation Resolution – in 2012, when it distributed the cards to criminals and trouble-makers, including known gangsters.

The project created wide controversy and international media attention when the card featured Police Chief Bob Rich dressed as Santa, carrying an assault rifle and wearing tactical gear.

The message on the front of the card stated, “Which list will you be on this year?”

Last year’s card was a sequel, showing Santa – Rich in disguise – writing the line “I will not play with guns” repeatedly on a chalkboard while Mrs. Clause watched over him.

MacDonald said, in both 2012 and 2013, police received about 10 to 15 per cent positive feedback from recipients of the cards.

He said some were a simple, “Thanks for the card,” while others reflected on the negative path their lives had taken and wished they had more positive influences early on.

(Below: This is the first Christmas card sent out by the Abbotsford Police Department, in 2012.)

 

Just Posted

Agrifair attendance up 25 per cent from 2017, say organizers

New attractions, including RCMP Musical Ride, being credited for hike

B.C. declares state of emergency as more than 560 wildfires rage

This is only the fourth state of emergency ever issued during a fire season

Police issue warning that 19-year-old poses ‘significant’ risk to the public

Varinderpal ‘VP’ Gill of Abbotsford involved in Lower Mainland gang conflict, police say

EDITORIAL: Gill must break silence and back up claim

If Coun. Moe Gill can’t substantiate his allegations, he should take a hard look at his campaign

Fraser Valley Bandits announce season ticket prices

Basketball team set to tip-off in summer of 2019

Interim GoFundMe payments approved in Humboldt Broncos crash

$50,000 to be given to each of the 13 survivors and each family of the 16 people who died

Ottawa intervenes to get B.C. ball player, 13, to Little League World Series

Before immigration issue was resolved, Dio Gama was out practicing the game he loves Wednesday

Pet goldfish invades small B.C. lake

Pinecrest Lake is located between Whistler and Squamish

Metro Vancouver water reservoirs in ‘good shape’

Reserves sitting at 70-per-cent full, officials said, despite long stretch without major rain

Mounties deployed to help B.C. communities affected by wildfires

RCMP officers heading to places particularly within central, northern and southern B.C.

Chinese medicine practitioner in B.C. facing historical sex assault charges

71-year old Kit Wong practiced acupuncture from his home during the time of the assaults

Quebec sets aside $900 million for companies hurt by U.S. tariffs

Premier Philippe Couillard says his government will make $863 million available over five years

Ex-B.C. teachers’ union leader among latest pipeline protesters to get jail time

Twelve people have been sentenced for violating court order to stay away from Kinder Morgan terminal

Most Read