EXETER — Three Huron OPP police officers were recently recognized by the South Huron Police Services Board (PSB) for showing the true giving spirit of Christmas last December.
Members of the PSB — chairman Jim Dietrich and members Maureen Cole and Mark Hartman as well as PSB administration Jo-Anne Fields and OPP Insp. Jason Younan — visited the Exeter OPP station Feb. 6 to pay tribute to police constables Marc Ratte, Jason Richardson and Dominic Coniglio for their good deed in Exeter shortly before Christmas.
As previously reported, the officers showed their generosity in early December when a local woman went out Christmas shopping to buy presents for local children in need. According to police, she had bought items such as colouring books, crafts, games and toys for a local toy drive. Stopping at the Exeter Canadian Tire to buy some batteries and additional gifts, she returned to her vehicle to find someone had broken into her locked vehicle and stolen all the presents.
When she called the police, officers Ratte, Richardson and Coniglio decided to chip in their own money to replace the gifts. Exeter Canadian Tire partnered with the officers, matching and exceeding their donation to replace the stolen toys.
The officers then visited the victim of the crime and presented her with the new gifts. Ratte said she was shocked and overwhelmed.
Members of the PSB presented the officers last week with a gift basket and thank you cards. Board member Hartman said the PSB heard about the officers’ act of kindness over the holiday season, and said it made him proud to live in this community. He told the officers he wanted them to know that the community notices and appreciates their actions.
Ratte said every officer in the detachment would have done the same thing as he and his colleagues, Richardson and Coniglio, did.
The thief who stole the gifts in December has still not been caught.