A toy Corvette recently played a role in strengthening the relationship between citizens and law enforcement in the town of Gander on the Canadian island of Newfoundland.
Little Parlan Crummey, 6, is a big fan of policemen, so when his family bought the old police car in Gander more than a year ago, they decided to have some fun.
They arranged for Constable Oswald Fudge, who’s portrayed in the Broadway hit “Come From Away,” to be pulled over by Parlan, dressed in his own miniature police uniform.
This year, they decided to turn the tables and have Constable Fudge pull Parlan over for doing donuts in his battery-powered red Corvette.
Parlan was having no part of it, though, electing to make a break for it when confronted by the lawman.
“I said, ‘Cops! I got to go, quick,’ floored the gas pedal and was gone … zoom,” Parlan explained.
That forced Fudge to playfully turn on his patrol car lights, pull Parlan over, and issue him one of his now famous “STFD” tickets, slightly modified to “Slow the Fudge Down” for the little boy.
His mother Natasha Ellsworth believes the gesture by the police department “makes children feel more comfortable with officers and shows there’s a fun side to the work.”
Likewise, Constable Fudge says the department is willing to try anytime that positive relationships with residents can be built, pointing to another similar example the same day as Parlan’s “incident.”
“That same day, in the morning, Constable (Andrea) Roberts went over to the community centre, where the Boys & Girls Club were in the parking lot, so she bought them all Mr. (Freeze) freezies and showed them the car,” he said.
As Constable Fudge concluded, “we are always looking for ways to engage youth because this is where these positive connections start.”
You can see a quick video of the encounter and ticketing at ganderbeacon.ca.