Ace, Saanich Police Department’s happy-go-lucky police dog, mascot, needs some willing volunteers to help him attend more community events.
Working in teams of two, volunteers choose to either don Ace’s outfit or walk alongside him as his handler, said Ian Gibbs, Saanich PD volunteers co-ordinator.
“The most we ever have is 22 people,” he said.
“We send out lists to all our volunteers for the events where Ace has been booked, and you can either pick one of those events or opt out.”
Gibbs said those who volunteer as Ace run the gamut from first-year students to retired couples. In his three years with the force, Ace has become a mainstay of many Saanich community events including Strawberry Festival, Gorge on Art and the Canada Day parade.
“Our criteria is the event has to be open to the public and over 50 people, otherwise we’d have Ace showing up at every kid’s birthday party,” he said.
The demand for Ace has increased this year, and Gibbs said a steady list of volunteers would help immensely.
“The difference Ace makes is huge and the police feel really strongly because he’s promoting something positive,” Gibbs said. “Sometimes parents walk by and say, ‘Oh watch out, the police will get you.’ And you’ve got a four year old who’s now afraid of the police. But Ace helps us relate to kids on their level.”
To book Ace the Mascot or request a volunteer application, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Gibbs at 250-475-4321.