AP firefighters and police step it up for area children

Sunday Times Newspapers

The game is on for brightening Christmas for area children and the Allen Park firefighters and police are ready to throw down against each other.

“Of course we’re going to beat them, because we’re the best,” said Fire Chief Doug LaFond.

LaFond said this year the fire department is challenging the police department and the West Bloomfield Fire Department, where life-long Allen Park resident and firefighter Kris Marrs works.

“He said his department can collect more toys,” LaFond said.

“We have a good shot, for years we’ve been the top collector,” he added.

While there’s no official collection record, LaFond and the crew have kept track of the filled bags for the past few years. Last year they collected about 60 large bags for the organization. He said as Christmas nears, someone comes in every two weeks to pick up items because the bins are overflowing.

Yet, the police are just as much in the spirit and want to win bragging rights.

“It would seem our friends at the fire department think they can do a better job at this then us,” commented police via their Facebook page. “We say bring it.”

Detective Jim Thorburn said he’s not even sure it’s a “game” because the police are going to be so “victorious.”

“We like to entertain the shenanigans, but it’s not even a fair competition,” he added.

LaFond said his department collects until Jan. 31, but all items collected after Christmas are saved until the following year.

He said in the end, the winner gets bragging rights and the children have a nice Christmas.

The fire department is taking donations of new, unwrapped toys between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. seven days a week. The police department accepts items 24 hours, seven days a week in the front lobby of the police department.

(Tereasa Nims can be reached at dstreporter@gmail.com)