Sault Ste. Marie Police officers will start handing out Soo Greyhounds hockey cards to local children and youth in the next phase of their community policing partnership with Mac’s Convenience Stores and the local hockey team.
It is anticipated the cards will feature photos of Soo Greyhounds players together with Sault Police officers, to be handed out beginning this fall, said Constable Sonny Spina at the official presentation of a mural painted on the east wall of the Mac’s location at 647 Second Line West Thursday.
“We thought it would be a great time to bring that (card) initiative back…people in the community really love it,” Spina told reporters.
Similar police card programs took place in the Sault back in the 1980s and 1990s.
“We’re going to see how many officers we can get in there with the Greyhounds…definitely some of the cards will show the partnership we have with the Greyhounds,” Spina said.
“Because of the generosity of Mac’s we’re going to be able to give these cards away free of charge (while officers are on patrol, given out to children and youth as rewards for good behaviour, such as maintaining safe, roadworthy bicycles).”
It’s known as ‘positive ticketing,’ Spina said.
The Sault-themed mural, with depictions of the International Bridge, the St. Marys River, the Norgoma and the Soo Greyhounds, was inspired by the artwork of local students Joshua Eder, Alexis Koehler, Chloe Shier, and Mitchel Hopf and painted on the Second Line West Mac’s store wall by Toronto artist Magic Finnga Wong.
The mural, along with a separate Soo Greyhounds-themed mural done by Wong at the Mac’s location at 655 Wellington Street West, was part of an anti-graffiti community partnership initiative between Sault Police and Mac’s launched Monday
Wong told SooToday he spent approximately 30 hours working on the two murals between Monday and Wednesday.
“It’s a big thing to be able to do two murals in three days…I’ll be giving my arms, my fingers, my shoulders a rest,” Wong smiled.
“All the designs on the walls are their ideas (the young local artists)…it’s very gratifying to see their images on the walls now.”
Visiting Korah Collegiate students were impressed with the mural at the Second Line West Mac’s.
“It’s awesome…I think it makes the community look brighter,” said O’Neil Armstrong.
“I think it’s amazing. I’m surprised he got it done so fast, it’s surprising you can do that with just spray paint,” said Eddie Thibeault.
“It’s pretty cool, the wall was boring before but now it’s brighter,” said Harley Crockford.