What started as a one-off fun hockey game two years ago between 51 Division police officers and the St. Agatha Sharks has turned into an annual contest helping to bridge the gap between law enforcement and the community it serves.
Constables Melissa Huntley and Ed Parks laid the foundation for the first meeting in March 2014.
“We had built a solid relationship with the school and we thought it would be inspiring to gather some of our members for a real fun game with the students,” said Parks.
In December 2014, a young boy at the school who was a member of the hockey team (Eric Bellchambers) lost his life,” said Parks. “His sudden death devastated the school community, so we decided to raise some funds to support the school and the Shoniker clinic. We raised $380. But more importantly we solidified the relationship between the school and the police.”
Constables Jay Domingo and Michael Cioffi have organized the friendly matchup that St. Agatha won the first year and the 51 Division team took the second year.
“This hockey game is something the kids and the school community as a whole look forward to,” said principal Ingrid McEachen. “It engages the children with police officers to let them see that they have many support elements throughout their community. The ability of 51 Division to turn this event into a growing success is evidence of their engagement with community and their willingness to give back.”