Peace officers in Brooks want to see toys in exchange for tickets

By Ashley Wiebe
November 21, 2018 - 9:00am Updated: November 21, 2018 - 7:09pm


BROOKS, AB — The City of Brooks is getting into the holiday spirit, and hopes residents do too, even after spotting a parking ticket under their wiper blade.

During this time of year, community peace officer Logan Grant is keeping his eyes peeled for parking violations.

“Parking too close to an intersection, a cross walk, leaving your vehicle unattended on a jack or maybe with the wheel removed,” he said.

“We do proactive patrol all throughout the community, so we could be anywhere from the north end of town, south, west, east. There’s no limit, essentially, to where we can enforce.”

Grant and the other members of the municipal enforcement team are signing off on tickets, hoping to get toys in return.

Toys for Tickets launched on November 14th and runs until December 10th. A municipal ticket worth $57 can be paid off with a little something special.

“You have to bring in a toy that’s for 12 years and under, unwrapped, with the receipt for at least $30,” said community peace officer Peter Thompson.

“Yes, they’ve been caught doing something wrong, but at the same time, now they get to give back to children in need,” Grant added.

It’s the third year the City of Brooks has held the campaign. This year, toys will be donated to the ScotiaBank Smiles for Christmas toy drive.

“The last time we took any down, I’m sure there was at least 25 toys we took down, our trucks were full,” Thompson said. “They’re everything from small toys, to big teddy bears, to a whole bunch of different things.”

Thompson issued one ticket to a man from Lethbridge, who was driving with expired plates. He said he was happy to hear he came in the same day with a gift in hand.

“It’s amazing that somebody would do that,” he said. “It’s a City of Brooks ticket. Why worry about it, just keep going and don’t think nothing of it. But this guy did.”

Bylaw officer Alex Opoka moved from Uganda 12 years ago and said he knows how special this time of year can be for children.

“My parents couldn’t get everything for Christmas for us, so we were able to have the same thing that we’re doing right now, which is getting toys from the community,” he said.

“It’s going to a good thing,” Thompson said. “It’s going to kids that don’t have... parents [that] maybe can’t get them more than one small gift. This way, they might get something a little bit more to make Christmas that much better.”

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