Thank you to hard-working police cited in Mefi thread April 28, 2005 6:40 PM   Subscribe

In regards to this thread (about the Metro Toronto Police trying to catch a pedophile, for those who don't wish to click)...

I live in Toronto, and I'd like to send this unit something -- flowers, a card, I don't know -- to say "Hey, you guys do one of the worst jobs in the known universe, and we as a community would like to say thank you." I feel that maybe these people don't get a lot of thanks or recognition from us common folks.

I don't know what would be appropriate. So... this thread is for suggestions for:

1) Appropriate something to send
2) If anyone wants to help pay, which I'm not exactly asking for unless we come up with an idea that's more than about $40 CAD.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy to MetaFilter-Related at 6:40 PM (36 comments total)

Maybe a donation to a Widows & Orphans fund accompanied by a card.
posted by jonmc at 6:41 PM on April 28, 2005

Star Trek gear?
posted by matteo at 6:42 PM on April 28, 2005

I like that idea a lot, jonmc.

which just reinforces, again, how much I respect your thinking.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 6:51 PM on April 28, 2005

It's a mutual admiration society, dude. Although, Canada being a far less violence prone land than the USA (love it though I do), I wonder if cops are killed in action often enough to warrant such a fund. But at any rate, I'm sure there's some worthwhile police charity we could donate to in the name of MeFi.

I recall an news story on a program in Vancouver, where the local cops videotaped drug addicts (and Vancouver is a notoriously heroin-riddled city from what I've heard) and showed the addicts the tapes. Supposedly it was eye-opening enough for some of the junkies to seek treatment. Kudos to the VPD for original thinking.
posted by jonmc at 6:55 PM on April 28, 2005

I don't know that I'd send a donation to the widows and orphan's fund. As worthy a cause as that is, they are already so well looked after. I've heard it said (by a cop I used to date, no less) that they get so much money they're better off than they would have been had their spouse/husband lived. (Not that this is any real compensation, of course.)

I'd vote to do something for the living, working cops. Perhaps you could send them some muffins for breakfast sometime. I would have said donuts but they might take that the wrong way:-)
posted by orange swan at 7:17 PM on April 28, 2005

This seems appropriate. ;-P
posted by mischief at 7:23 PM on April 28, 2005

Hmm... swan, how about a goodly basket of stuff from somewhere like Dufflets or Queen of Tarts?

Mischief, you're not funny at all. Grow up.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 7:27 PM on April 28, 2005

Leafs Tickets?
posted by jonmc at 7:29 PM on April 28, 2005

Hah. No, jonmc, we want to cheer them up...
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 7:58 PM on April 28, 2005

Leaf fans are such a die-hard bunch it doesn't even matter when/if the team loses. But since there's no hockey this year, that's a moot point.
posted by orange swan at 8:10 PM on April 28, 2005

dirtynumbangelboy: Great idea, and the basket of snacks sounds perfect. One suggestion: The basket usually goes quick and the guys/gals on the other shifts are left w/o any snacks. If you found out that there are two daily shifts for that unit (say 8am-4pm & 4pm-12am) maybe you could bring 1 (slightly smaller basket) to each shift? The people working the other shift would be especially grateful.
posted by mlis at 8:13 PM on April 28, 2005

"Grow up."

posted by mischief at 8:20 PM on April 28, 2005

Excellent point, MLIS.

Hmm... so...

1) Donation to a police charity (or, perhaps, simply ask them where money should go?)

2) A basket of yummy goodies (enough to make sure everyone gets some)

3) A card of some sort

4) A link to this MeTa thread? (Actually, I'd prefer another thread, perhaps officially started by #1, with anyone who wished to saying 'thank you' in their own words; easier than trying to cram it all onto a card.)
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 8:25 PM on April 28, 2005

(Hit 'post' too quickly... those aren't either/or propositions. I'm thinking all 4.)
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 8:25 PM on April 28, 2005

Well, the basic choice is between a "gesture" and something that's going to really be some kind of personal reward, but it's very hard to give anything that you _know_ is going to be a personal reward.

From my personal experience, I think cops and firefighters _need_ to deal on a figurative level, where a seemingly small gesture has to represent a larger, deeper possibility for things to make sense. If small things can't stand for the larger whole, why bust one more mugger, or risk your life in one more fire, if there's just going to be another one tomorrow?

Most of us would basically blow off a donation given in our name as a shallow gesture, but I think cops would definitely appreciate--and prefer--that.

(And mischief, you're _really_ not doing yourself any favors right now.)
posted by LairBob at 8:27 PM on April 28, 2005

"you're _really_ not doing yourself any favors right now"

When have I ever? ;-P
posted by mischief at 8:34 PM on April 28, 2005

I wrote them after reading the article. Here's the contact link. Also consider a donation to one of the many children's charities. Child abuse is horrifying; so is child hunger, sickness and poverty.
posted by theora55 at 8:36 PM on April 28, 2005

Thanks for that link, theora55.

Unless anyone objects by tomorrow, I'm thinking I'll email them and say "Hey, we want to do something to thank you guys. We're going to send you something anyway, but if we were to make a charitable donation, where would you want it sent?"
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 8:40 PM on April 28, 2005

Donate to a children's charity in the name of the police guild, union or whatever it's called. And send the cops a card letting them know it's in their honor.
posted by warbaby at 9:04 PM on April 28, 2005

Most of us would basically blow off a donation given in our name as a shallow gesture

posted by spaghetti at 9:54 PM on April 28, 2005

what theora said, and warbaby--donate to a Canadian charity that helps kids in their name. Let us know which one, and we will too, if we want.
posted by amberglow at 10:16 PM on April 28, 2005

Most of us would basically blow off a donation given in our name as a shallow gesture


I just meant that while many people might _appreciate_ the gesture, they wouldn't be deeply emotionally touched by the fact. I know that's certainly true for myself--I certainly wouldn't argue with it, but I can't imageine getting all choked up over a donation someone made on my behalf.

On the other hand, I do think that many civil servants, like cops and firefighters, would be personally moved. I've known many who were, and it's not just that they were sappy--they lived in a world where small gestures regularly had to mean much more. That's the only point I was trying to make (whether or not anyone agrees with it).
posted by LairBob at 10:19 PM on April 28, 2005

Donuts is the to go. Seriously, two cops at every crispy creme I pass (so my opinion of cops is rather low, still, donuts is a winner).
posted by justgary at 11:36 PM on April 28, 2005

It seems that the cop in the story was most moved by a card from the mom of one of his rescued children that told him to never give up,however discouraged he might be. That makes me wonder if a written expression of gratitude as a group might be what would be most meaningful to them. Expressing confidence, recognition, gratefullness.

As a nurse (here I go again), boxes of candy and pizzas were certainly always appreciated. (There's a theme there about nurturing there that I'll bore you with some other time) but the things that we all appreciate most from those we help are notes that say that they'll never forget you. That you were meaningful in their lives. That you'll always be in their prayers. That bless you for what you do. That's the kind of stuff that keeps you going for another 6 months. So- I vote for something on paper.
posted by puddinghead at 12:19 AM on April 29, 2005

You Canadians sure love your cops. *shudder* Actually, I envy you. Really. I wish I could believe in our municipal police forces enough to want to send them muffins. It's good to be reminded from time to time that they're capable of, and willing to do, some good.
posted by squirrel at 12:32 AM on April 29, 2005

I certainly wouldn't phrase whatever you send them as "doing one of the worst jobs." I know what you mean, but...
posted by Captaintripps at 3:47 AM on April 29, 2005

Tim Horton's gift card?
posted by fixedgear at 4:07 AM on April 29, 2005

"Hey, you guys do one of the worst jobs, may I suggest using the phrasing "one of the most difficult jobs"? The first could be taken wrong. Just sayin'.

I think that's a great idea you've got there, dirty. And I like warbaby's idea; our church uses something similar to solicit donations for our Habitat for Humanity fundraiser- we accept a donation to Habitat and send a card to the honoree informing them that money has been donated in their name. Despite LairBob's assumptions about "most of us", I find that most people appreciate being thought of in this way.
posted by Doohickie at 4:31 AM on April 29, 2005

squirrel: It's not so much about loving our cops, as having much less of an adversarial attitude towards them. And recognizing that cops are just doing their jobs... jobs which most of us, especially in this case, wouldn't touch with a ten-foot pole.

Anyway. I'm going to email them right now and ask where they'd want money to be sent. Then we can solicit donations (that means you, Mefites! :) ), and get money sent off to whichever charity they'd prefer. In case anyone is concerned about where the money is going, etc, I'll get a receipt from the charity in question and post an image here.

Beyond that, I still think a nice basket of muffins or something would be a good idea. And as puddinghead pointed out, a card. Perhaps if everyone posted something here--or would a new thread be better--thanking these guys and gals in their own words, I could scrape the text, and print it out into some sort of nice little booklet of some sort (I work at a design company now, so getting that done won't be any difficulty), and include a link for them to read the thread(s) here as well.

Comments? Suggestions?

so... $$$. Who's in?
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 6:46 AM on April 29, 2005

It's a mutual admiration society, dude. Although, Canada being a far less violence prone land than the USA (love it though I do), I wonder if cops are killed in action often enough to warrant such a fund.

Well we just lost four Mounties in a high profile event but that is rare. I wouldn't be surprised if more cops are killed in traffic accidents than are shot in Canada.

(and Vancouver is a notoriously heroin-riddled city from what I've heard)

In defense of Vancouver they are only "heroin-riddled" in comparison to everywhere else west of Thunder Bay. And that riddling is pretty well confined to a small section of the city.

I'm in for a bit dirtynumbangelboy, drop me an email where you'd like the money sent. Rather than a booklet how about a small, say about A3 sized, poster that could be hung some place?
posted by Mitheral at 9:04 AM on April 29, 2005

Please post in this thread where they'd like donations sent, so that anyone interested can contribute when/if they are able.
posted by raedyn at 9:11 AM on April 29, 2005

I'm coming late to this thread, but here's a suggestion nonetheless:

Why not have Canadian MeFi's write to Toronto's municipal government, the Ontario government and the federal government to ask for increased funding for this project?

By showing our support of the public investment in stopping child abuse we do two things: first, we state that society as a whole has a stake in child abuse and that society as a whole should respond; second, we have a chance to not just thank the police force and show our support, but also to help them in a direct way.
posted by carmen at 10:34 AM on April 29, 2005

As a techie, I'd like to think that they'd be happy to see notifications of a successful install of the Child Tracking software from Microsoft at local police departments everywhere.

I'm going to call my local PD right now and see if they've got the software yet. If they don't, I'm going to volunteer my services to install it. If I get it installed, I'll have the captain sign off on a letter to the guys in the Great White North and let them know that the meme is spreading.
posted by thanotopsis at 11:25 AM on April 29, 2005

matteo: by the way, that one in four figure is, at best, a gross misrepresentation of the general dvd collections of those arrested.

not that i have a particular interest in rehabilitating the reputations of "hard core" star trek fans, just i hate to see such sloppy chracterizations of evidence.

posted by crush-onastick at 12:37 PM on April 29, 2005

It may well be that they have ethics rules preventing them from accepting gifts worth more than a few dollars (our city ethics rules, which also apply to our cops, specify $5 making candy acceptable but nixing anything more), or at all. Hence the likely appreciation of cards and small things or donations in their name.

Just a (late) thought.
posted by Quinbus Flestrin at 3:51 PM on April 29, 2005


Waiting for the cops to get back to me regarding 1) where they'd like a donation sent, and 2) if they can accept gift baskets, or if there's a limit, or what.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 9:34 PM on April 30, 2005

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