Police halt MP’s birthday ‘drive by’ plan
A Gold Coast MP says a plan for a beat cop deliver a birthday surprise to kids in his community was scrapped because of "perception" concerns.
Bonney MP Sam O'Connor proposed the idea last month, noting it would only be a quick drive-by to "brighten a kid's day" and would not interfere with urgent jobs.
"Is your kid having a birthday at home? Our local Police Beat officer has offered to make it a little more special by driving past and flashing his lights and sirens," a Facebook post said. "Message me your kid's name, gender and your address and I'll see when we can drop by."
The call-out to Arundel and Parkwood families attracted hundreds of comments from people keen to take it up.
But it was abandoned after concerns it would "create a perception resources were being diverted away from their normal job of protecting our community", Mr O'Connor said.
A Queensland Police Service spokesman said: "Whilst the intent is understood it is not possible to provide this service equally to all children wanting a home birthday visit."
The spokesman said police valued the importance of engaging with youth and did so through numerous programs.
City police were being deployed on business-as-usual duties plus border checks, business and public space security patrols and investigations into breaches of health directives to halt coronavirus, police said.
Mr O'Connor said he understood the decision.
"I still don't think it would have been too much of a problem. It's not like he would have been putting off a major job. It would have been a pretty minor thing and it's all about promoting him in our area."
Mr O'Connor and the Multicultural Families Organisation still delivered presents to children celebrating their birthdays.
Originally published as Police halt MP's birthday 'drive by' plan