NEWS

Santa repents for gun-toting Abbotsford Police xmas card

12/10/2013 05:34 EST | Updated 02/09/2014 05:59 EST
A year after sending Christmas cards featuring an attention-grabbing photo of a gun-wielding Santa Claus, the Abbotsford Police Department's new card design features a more penitent message.

The 2013 holiday greeting card again features Abbotsford Police Department Chief Const. Bob Rich dressed as Santa, but this time, instead of being dressed as a member of a SWAT team, Mr. Claus is shown writing lines on the chalkboard as a stern-looking Mrs. Claus scrutinizes.

"I will not play with guns. I will not play with guns...." Santa writes.

Last year's card, which was the first such holiday-outreach effort directed at prolific offenders, was meant to stir some deep thought about life choices, but the the violent depiction of Santa created some discussion and debate, and some negative blowback from the public. 

"Even Santa makes mistakes," the department said this year.

Still, the message delivered by the gun-toting Santa card, did make a numbers of repeat offenders stop and think last year, Chief Bob Rich said.

"We got four positive responses from people that responded to getting a card, and communicated with us one way or another about wanting to change their lives," he said.

"Here's the deal: We should never stop asking people to make a difference choice," Rich said. "I hope that a good number of the people who get this card really stop and think about their lives... They can choose a different life, and everybody needs to know that's always within their power."

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