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Ashcroft RCMP asking area children to name new police truck

Winning name will be displayed on the truck when it appears at special events
The Ashcroft RCMP detachment’s new pickup truck has the somewhat boring name of AS5101 right now, which is why area youth are being invited to enter a contest to supply a better name, which will be displayed on the truck on special occasions. (Photo credit: Ashcroft RCMP)

The RCMP regularly holds nationwide contests where children can name new puppies or foals, and now the Ashcroft RCMP detachment has entered the field, with area kids invited to submit names for the detachment’s shiny new Ford F-150 pickup truck.

The Ashcroft detachment became proud owners of the new vehicle — its first F-150 — in October, and it is affectionately named “AS5101” for now. However, local children are being invited to come up with something better, in a contest the detachment is running in partnership with the South Cariboo Elizabeth Fry Society.

“Sadly, we don’t have a new police puppy or foal to ask the community to name,” says Cst. Richard Wright of the Ashcroft RCMP. “But we do have a new vehicle, and we can’t wait to see the names our local youth come up with.”

The contest invites children aged 4 to 14 to put their thinking caps on and see who can come up with the best name for the new addition to the community. Contestants must live in Ashcroft, Cache Creek, Walhachin, Thompson River Estates, Venables Valley, 16 Mile House, Ashcroft Indian Band, Bonaparte Indian Band, Oregon Jack Indian Band, or Lower/Upper Hat Creek Reserves.

“It’s the first time we’ve done this,” says Wright, who spearheaded the idea and got approval to go ahead with it. “We’re delighted to bring this fun contest to youth in our communities, and hope they have a fun experience.”

He explains that the winning name will be emblazoned on a removable magnet that can be attached to the side of the new truck when it is making special appearances, such as taking part in a parade. Wright likens it to when members don their red serge uniforms for special events.

“When we attend something like Remembrance Day services we wear our red serge, but that’s not usual. For special events, the truck will display the name chosen from the winning child.”

Wright says that while the Ashcroft detachment currently has a large Chevy truck and two Ford Explorers, the F-150 is a first, and will help them in areas where other vehicles might run into difficulties.

“It will help us manoeuvre along Forest Service Roads and some of the other difficult roads we have to traverse. That’s always been a necessity, which is why we have a truck if a call for service requires it, and we’ve found we have a need on a weekly basis at least to go into backwoods area. This new truck will be an important part of us doing that.”

Wright adds that the “name the truck” contest is a brand-new initiative that he doesn’t think has been done before.

“I wanted to appropriate the ‘name the puppy’ and ‘name the foal’ contests and do something fun for the community. The new police vehicle will require an ‘A’ name, and I hope future police vehicles will be named in similar fashion and go alphabetically.”

All contest entries must be submitted to the South Cariboo Elizabeth Fry Society via email to Children should get a parent or guardian’s permission before submitting personal information such as their name or phone number to any email address.

The email must contain the name suggested for the vehicle; the name and age of the child submitting the suggestion; and the phone number of a parent or guardian.

The contest rules are simple. Only kids between the ages of 4 to 14 years can enter, and contestants can suggest only one name (one entry per child). The name must start with the letter “A”, contain mo more than nine letters, and be a single word.

Entries must be received by Friday, Dec. 8, 2023. The contest winner and runners-up will be announced in mid-December, with the winner receiving a plush Mountie Moose, as well as their own die-cast police car to bring home. Four runners-up will all win a variety of RCMP goodies.

Wright says that the detachment would also love to get original artwork from area kids. “When you submit your entry via email, we would love to receive some drawings and paintings from you as well. Any pictures submitted will be shared with everyone at the conclusion of the contest.“