Former Wetaskiwin Peace Officer, Sgt. Eric Christensen, has won the Alberta Association of Community Peace Officers Award of Excellence after being nominated by the City of Wetaskiwin.
The Award of Excellence was developed by the Alberta Association of Community Peace Officers to recognize the efforts of members who go above and beyond in their communities, as well as their dedication and commitment to their association and profession.
Christensen worked in Wetaskiwin as a Community Peace Officer for three years, from 2016 to 2019.
“Sergeant Christensen was an amazing asset to our community. He volunteered countless hours for charitable and community events, fundraisers or just being an extra set of hands when needed,” Wetaskiwin Mayor Tyler Gandam said his letter in support of Christensen’s award nomination. “He gives selflessly and quickly became one of the go-to people in Wetaskiwin.”
Christensen is currently a Senior Community Peace Officer with the Town of Olds. Part of the honour of winning the province wide accolade is being able to donate $1000 to a community cause or charity of the award recipient’s choice.
Christensen decided to donate the funds from his win to locale thrift store and community outreach Agape.
“Part of what I was doing when I was here was dealing with the homeless and helping the homeless and I know that Kate supplies a lot of the homeless people with clothing when they need it,” says Christensen on his choice for the donation. “This just helps get the items back to the people who need it.”
Agape helps people who come through the thrift store even if they can’t afford the items they need—often giving away clothing for free to those who need it.
“I sleep a little easier at night knowing that doors aren’t going to be closing because we don’t have enough because we are giving so much for free,” says Agape Owner and Executive Director, Kate Halas. “There is a lot of days where we give away more than we sell”
Halas says that last year all the way up to Agape’s three-month closure do to the COVID-19 pandemic, Agape helped over 1,500 families in the community. Halas says that that number is double what it has been in the past three years.
“Since COVID, we have a minimum of two to three people daily coming in needing something,” says Halas. “We just do our best to fill in the need where we can.”
Halas says she is extremely grateful for Christensen, not only for his donation, but also for all the support he has provided for Agape and the Wetaskiwin community during his time as a Wetaskiwin Peace Officer.