Cop cards put fun face on the law

Published on Thu, Sep 19, 2002
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Cop cards put fun face on the law

Trading card collectors can save a spot next to Reggie Jackson and Obi-Wan-Kenobi for Blaine police dog Yoschi. Yoschi and all his fellow officers in the Blaine police department now have trading cards that bear their likeness and vital statistics.

“Every officer has his own cards and we’re giving them out to kids so they can collect them all,” said officer Jon Landis. “It’s just to be friendly and give kids a reason to approach the officers.”

Landis said the trading card project was modeled on programs in other cities. Hundreds of police departments in the United States (including several in the county), Canada and the United Kingdom, have used police trading cards as a way to help the community get to know officers. “We were kind of the odd man out not having them,” said Blaine police chief Bill Elfo. “It’s a good opportunity to open communication between youth and police.”

Fourteen officers were given 500 cards each for their supply and Landis doesn’t expect they will need another run for two years. There is also a card for the police reserves and one for Yoschi. A $500 grant from the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs traffic safety grant was supplemented by a $500 donation from Figaro’s Pizza to pay for the cards.

Every officer’s card has biographical information and a signature box on the back, and a photo on the front. Landis took all the photos himself, from Elfo beside the Lester Park World War II anti-aircraft gun to detective Ryan King in a helicopter. “I told them to think of something they enjoy doing or something important to them. It took forever,” he said.

So far reaction to the cards has been a little overwhelming, Landis said. “I go to the school and get attacked. I just have to sit down and start signing cards. Now they’re starting to flag down other officers, too.”.
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