Police officers, as part of their job, perform street checks in which they stop and question certain individuals in the interest of protecting the public and property.
Hockey players, of course, throw body checks on the ice as part of the game.
Members from the two groups of ‘checkers,’ specifically Sault Ste. Marie Police Service officers and the Soo Greyhounds OHL squad, joined to have their photos taken together at Essar Centre Wednesday in preparation for specially-issued hockey cards to be soon distributed locally.
“One of the biggest elements of this is community engagement. We really want to show that our officers are a part of this community just as much as anyone else in town, and there’s no bigger thing in this town that brings folks together than Soo Greyhounds hockey,” said Cst. Sonny Spina, speaking to SooToday.
Packs of 23 Police and Hounds cards will be made available beginning Nov. 25 at Essar Centre and will be handed out to the public, and by police officers to children seen engaging in safe, law-abiding behaviour.
“Similar to the positive ticketing campaigns that we do, very similarly you’ll be able to get them from officers around town,” Spina said.
“We’re going to try and get some at Mac’s locations too,” Spina added.
The cards will be available for a limited time only.
22 Sault Police officers in total, including Chief Robert Keetch and Deputy Chief Sean Sparling, will appear on the cards with Hounds players (Chief Keetch and Deputy Chief Sparling with Greyhounds coaching staff).
13 officers were on hand Wednesday afternoon at Essar Centre, a previous group having had their photos already taken with the Hounds at the Sault Ste. Marie Police Service building, the Neighbourhood Resource Centre at 138 Gore Street and the Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre Tuesday.
A separate collection of cards will be available for Hounds players only, each of them with Cst. Dan Turco and Police Service dog ‘Justice.’
Retired Sault Ste. Marie Police Service Sgt. Jim Egan took the photographs for the Greyhounds.
The Sault Police/Greyhounds initiative was first announced in June
Similar police card programs took place in the Sault back in the 1980s and 1990s.