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Popular gymkhana kicks off Police Week

Right side of the law: Chaz Swan-Edmead and Brinkley Mello at the gymkhana

The much-loved Police Gymkhana, a popular children’s day out, is back tomorrow — kicking off an array of celebrations marking Police Week.

The gymkhana, revived in 2010, is a decades-old tradition giving parents a chance to bring out their youngsters with pedal cycles and relive childhood memories on Police Field.

Police Week closes with the Charity Casino Night at the Police Recreation Club in Prospect: a night of entertainment and gaming, which has run for 18 years, and offers a chance for the Service to give back to Bermuda, with Family Centre and Special Olympics Bermuda sharing the proceeds.

The latest Police Week commemorates the 137th anniversary of the Service.

Fostering ties at all levels of the community, the theme this year is “Past, Present and Future”. Police spokesman Dwayne Caines called the gymkhana “one of our longest traditions, and something the community was crying out for, which has come back with a high level of success”.

The pedal fun, headed by Sergeant Clifford Roberts, starts at 10am for children aged 4 and up, and closes with the Big Boys’ Race among senior officers. The gymkhana dates back to 1969 as a venue for youngsters to enjoy themselves and get to know police. At a special memorial service on Sunday at 4pm, a veteran officer whose dying wish was to be buried in Bermuda will be interred at the Police Cemetery in Prospect.

The ashes of former Sergeant Cyril Plant, who served for many years on the island, have been brought to his chosen resting place as part of the ceremony.

Monday, October 3 marks the Commissioner’s Vision Awards. In a salute to Bermuda’s youth, each of the island’s schools selects three students who exemplify police values.

Held at CedarBridge Academy’s Ruth Seaton James Centre for the Performing Arts, the 6pm reception and ceremony includes keynote speaker TyRon Douglas.

Always popular is the Seniors’ Tea, which follows on Tuesday at 11am in the Heritage Worship Centre on Dundonald Street. It was a full house last year, and the same is expected for 2016, with entertainment also provided.

Another favourite on Wednesday is the Open House, at Hamilton Police Station, where young people get to look behind the scenes at what goes on. “It’s a time for young people to see police in their active environment, but also to have a fun learning experience and connect with police on a personal level,” Mr Caines said.

“We recognise that there are negative images of the police across North America. We don’t want people to assume it’s the same in Bermuda. We want to develop healthy relationships with our students and young people, so they can see us as their friends.”

The Service will take to Police Field again on Thursday for the Staff Fun Day: races, walking, running, cycling and team building from 9am. It’s a police affair at which the public are welcome to spectate.

At 6pm on Friday, Police Week closes with the Charity Casino Night.

Tickets at $20 include buffet dinner and a free drink. There is also a cash bar, and casino dollars on sale at the event. For $10 cash, guests get $2,000 casino dollars, and winnings can be used to bid on prizes that will be auctioned off. Tickets, which can be delivered, are available at 247-1151, 247-1155, or by e-mailing policeweek@bps.bm.