Chestermere’s Peace Officer’s want to know how much food can be packed into one of their patrol cars.
To find out, they have partnered with the other emergency services in the city and Safeway to Pack the Patrol Car Aug. 18 in support of the Chestermere Regional Food Bank.
“What we’re trying to do is we’re trying to pack the PC, so we’re gonna fill up the patrol cars with as much food donations,” said event organizer Shawn Press, Level 1 Community Peace Officer with the City of Chestermere.
To make, what Press is calling the first annual event a lot of fun and bring out the community they’ll have more than just the one patrol car there for the event.
“We’re gonna be set up at the forefront of the Chestermere Safeway, right in the parking lot,” said Press.
“We’re gonna have emergency services members there, firefighters, peace officers and what we’re doing is we’re gonna put a few of our members, including some firefighters, up on the rooftop as well as some boots on the ground, you know, entertaining the public and bringing some awareness to the local food bank,” he said.
People will be able to come down and as they check out at Safeway with their groceries, purchase non-perishable food items that will be pre-prepared to then bring out to fill the patrol car.
“People can come and pick up whichever bag they want, in whatever quantity or price that they want and go through the checkouts with the rest of their groceries and donate those items to our event,” said Press.
As an added incentive, people making donations will be helping to ransom the peace officers and firefighters that are stranded on the roof of the building.
“We’re gonna fill up the patrol cars…the fire trucks, the trailers, anything that we have out there.
“And basically, until those things are full we’re not gonna let our members off the rooftops for the day,” said Press.
At the end of the day, the donations will be packed into the fire department’s trailer and delivered to the food bank.
“Our goal is to bring a full trailer over to the food bank,” he said.
Press, who has been a Peace Officer for almost five years, is relatively new to Chestermere having started here in March.
This is the first event he is organizing in Chestermere but not the first he’s been involved with in his career.
“I’ve hosted other events with kind of similar MO’s and it’s always involved in supporting your local community and your local charities,” he said.
“And that’s exactly what we wanted to do here,” he said, “take similar ideas from other agencies or things that we’ve done in the past and just incorporate that into what we do here with the City of Chestermere.”
Press said that the Chestermere Regional Food Bank was chosen because of the amount of support it provides to resident’s in need of a little help.
“The local food bank here…supports quite a few internal types of events including their breakfast programs, their Meals on Wheels programs, and their hampers and things like that,” he said.
“So, I just thought it’d be a great idea to take the combination of what we stand for as community peace officers and make sure that our event is hosted in such a way that we’re giving back to that same community that we work for,” said Press.
Along with the patrol car to fill with donations, there will be stickers and some swag for kids, interact with the firefighters and other emergency services members and have tours of the vehicles and equipment on site.
There will also be a barbecue with food being purchased by donation to the food bank.
“They’ll have a couple other things set up out there, some free popcorn, things like that,” said Press.
They are hoping for good weather but Press said that as long as it is safe, Pack the Patrol Car will happen rain or shine.
“We’ll be playing it by ear,” said Press, “hopefully mother nature holds out and offers us a great day for a great event, but, the event will go off, rain or shine,” he said.
Pack the Patrol Car is set to run from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Aug. 18 at Chestermere Safeway.
“If it continues on a little bit longer and we have great response and a huge turnout then we’ll play it by ear,” said Press.
“We’ll be out there as long as it takes to make sure…that we have some donations to get back to the food bank,” he said.