Over 250 children from east Port of Spain were treated to an afternoon of fun and excitement as the Port of Spain City Police held their Fifth Annual Christmas Treat at the Central Market on Sunday afternoon.
This was the first children's Christmas party hosted by the Port of Spain City Police in two years, owing to covid19 restrictions that were in effect in 2020 and 2021.
The party which began in 2015, was conceived by acting sgts Dwayne John and Selvon McShine and features, bouncy castles, snacks, presents, music and an appearance from Santa Claus.
It was introduced as a means of bridging the gap between different communities in and around Port of Spain.
Speaking with Newsday at the party on Sunday, McShine said he was pleased with the overwhelmingly positive response from communities at the event and thanked sponsors for their generosity.
He said such activities were important in fostering a sense of togetherness across community boundaries while promoting closer ties with the police.
"The party is really to cater for children in east Port of Spain, we have children from the Beetham, John John, Sea Lots, all these children are coming together. And we know these are areas that are sometimes at war with each other, so it's nice to see we can have children from these different communities coming together.
"We have to thank a number of sponsors I can't name all of them but the vendors of the Central Market who contributed tremendously, the Kiss Baking Company, Brian's Tent Rentals and Holiday Snacks to name a few."
McShine also thanked Snr Supt of the Port of Spain City Police who he said supported the work of the officers.
Newsday also spoke to WPC Amelia Pierre of the Port of Spain City Police who said, despite the difficulties, she was also heartened by the assistance of sponsors and fellow officers in organising the event.
"The first year was 50, the second year catered for 100 children but today it's catering well over 250 children.
"This was a big achievement, we know the pandemic hit a lot of people's financial interests hard, we knew a lot of people were still trying to get back on their feet but we're happy to say a lot of our sponsors still wanted to help out in some way so it was difficult but we got it done."
By 6 pm the children were stirred into a frenzy when Santa Claus arrived at the market in a fire service pick-up truck to distribute presents.