Lacombe Police Service and Lacombe Ford are continuing a 20-year partnership with the donation of a 2020 Ford Explorer.
The new police vehicle is to be used the by the police department’s School Resource Officer (SRO), Reuben Geleynse.
The SRO is responsible for delivering prevention and education programs to Wolf Creek Public Schools in Lacombe.
Along with delivering programs to the students, Geleynse says the SRO build positive relationships between the students and police officers.
“There is huge value in that and huge value in kids being able to hang out with a cop,” Geleynse said. “They get to understand that police are not a big, scary thing and that police officers are regular people like everyone else.”
He says he enjoys working in the schools and getting to know the students. Having the presence of an officer in the schools regularly makes them more comfortable, he added.
“They know they can trust me and I become someone that the feel they can come to ask questions,” he said
Geleynse says the police vehicle is part of the uniform, and that having the vehicle donated by a local business is a great way to carry on the tradition between the LPS and Lacombe Ford.
“It demonstrates a valuable community partnership Between Lacombe Ford, the Lacombe Police Service and also Wolf Creek Public Schools. It shows that Lacombe Ford not only believes in policing but also in the School Resource Officer Program,” said Geleynse.
The police car is part of the uniform, Geleynse says. Attending the schools with a new vehicle will help keep the proper image and authority a police officer has.
Darren Gagnon, CEO of Lacombe Ford, says he is happy to continue the partnership between the dealership and the police service.
He said it has been a great relationship and is happy to support the Lacombe Police Service with their efforts to connect and engage with local youth.
“Like every municipal government the police are challenged by economic restraints, and this is one way Lacombe Ford can give back to our community and support the police at the same time through this program,” Gagnon said. “This… has always been in our spectrum of focusing on supporting local children’s and family causes.
“We are happy to be able to be part of this great initiative.”