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Dec 20, 2016

Christmas Surprises and Cheer for Rural Eastern Division

Around this time in 2015, Rural Eastern Division Police based in Ladyville were stopping buses along the Philip Goldson Highway at a checkpoint. They selected certain passengers and in typical fashion, aggressively questioned them about their activities and imagined complaints and queries, not unlike a real traffic stop. However, nobody went to jail, or paid a fine; it was all an act. The real purpose of the stops was to give out hundred dollar bills – on behalf of a “Secret Santa.” It proved to be quite the hit, and so in 2016 they are at it again. Correspondent Aaron Humes joined regional commander Edward Broaster at the Airport Road junction to catch this unique version of Christmas cheer in action.


Aaron Humes, Reporting

Fair or not, our Police Department are not exactly known for being generous, or polite. And that’s the reason, in this season, why the “Secret Santa” initiative implemented by Rural Eastern Division in 2015 works so well, because really, would you expect to be simply handed one hundred dollars by a police officer after you just got done arguing with him at a traffic stop? Witness the reaction of carpenter Errol Cooper, who looked so frustrated he was ready to snap and possibly be hauled off to the Ladyville holding cells up the road. But once it was all explained to him, he couldn’t be happier.


Errol Cooper

Errol Cooper, Secret Santa Recipient

“This dah more dan surprise (laughs). Look yah, dehn bally, deh out a order, you say. But thanks, you know?”



“You sounded a little angry?”


Errol Cooper

“[It’s] alright.”


…and how about this deftly executed pat-down by Assistant Superintendent Juanito Cocom on a passenger from a Ready Call bus traveling down from Burrell Boom? This female passenger still couldn’t quite believe her luck even after things calmed down. Ray Nicholson, the subject of the pat-down and a lucky recipient, admits police got him good this time.


Ray Nicholson

Ray Nicholson, Secret Santa Recipient

“My reaction? I mi think deh mi frame mi fi something I noh do, cause unu frighten me. Nayly (expletive) myself. (Laughter) Ah frighten. Sorry fi use the word, but it’s good, you pull a good prank and one. It’s good, it’s good; teach me a lesson.”



“You get a hundred dollars out of it though?”


Ray Nicholson

“Yeah, a get something out of it at the end of the day though. Thanks for everything. I know noh weh fi seh, a left speechless but a still di shake. To God ah frighten. Okay, Merry Christmas to you all too. Take care and enjoy the rest a di day.”


And while the male passengers were braced, regional commander ACP Edward Broaster and crew displayed a softer touch with the women and children passengers – no rough stuff. He says it’s all about the excitement – and spreading the joy of Christmas.


Edward Broaster

ACP Edward Broaster, Regional Commander, Eastern Division Rural

“The thing is all about excitement; we want to surprise them, indeed, we don’t it to be like, here’s a hundred dollars and so, so we try to go as far [as] possible to the edge to kinda get them thinking something else other than they are gonna be rewarded with a hundred dollars.”



“In terms of the reactions today, we got the full gamut from quiet and surprised to outright – somebody was threatening to go to real jail instead of getting rewarded. Is that part of the excitement that you referred to?”


ACP Edward Broaster

“That’s part of the comic about it. We just want to show the community that we love them and we are able to share with them courtesy the Secret Santa. Like I told you all, the Secret Santa came in on Saturday with the necessary resources for us to do the bus operation as well as the shopping; and I believe we have a couple more shopping that we will be doing.”


In all, another satisfying afternoon on the road for the Police and for all of these travellers, whose Christmas was made a little brighter. From Ladyville, Aaron Humes reporting for News Five.


The Police Department will continue its week of goodwill with events to be announced later.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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