POLICE ASSOCIATION OF NOVA SCOTIA 31 Back to the future for city grads by Mitch MacDonald Originally published in The Guardian, June 9, 2012 Some high school couples may find themselves arriving at their prom in a police car that looks like it’s from a 1950s movie. The Charlottetown Police Department is supporting city high school safe grad by driving some students to prom in a snazzy vintage police car, while raising money for future graduation events. Posters around the city and its high schools are advertising a draw for students. The prize is a drive for a lucky couple to their dinner and dance on prom night, in a newly restored 1952 Dodge Regent. The car was bought by the police department and is complete with a slick black paint job and vintage cherry headlights. Deputy Chief Gary McGuigan said all money raised will go towards a good cause. “The money raised from the safe grad draw, we’ll take it and put it into the school’s safe grad fund for future students,” he said. “It could become an annual event for them to raise money.” Colonel Gray’s prom is Thursday, June 16, while Charlottetown Rural’s is the following evening. Safe grads, or “chem-free” events, are held after the graduation, not prom, and have become popular with Island high schools in recent year. Charlottetown Rural students will leave their graduation on Thursday, June 23, and head to the West Royalty Spa, where they’ll have free casino night, use of the whole facility, racquetball and pizza. Teacher Julie McCabe said the events have also been a smash with students and the community. “We view it as a way to celebrate accomplishments in a safe environment,” she said. “And it’s always well-attended.” Colonel Gray students will enjoy their safe grad after their graduation on Wednesday, June 22, in the school’s gym with a pizza party, sundae bar and hypnotist. The students will then bus to Sandspit Amusement Park in the middle of the night. McGuigan said the idea to support the safe grad events started rolling when the department purchased the vehicle last year as a public relations vehicle. “We’ve had requests here other years from students wanting to be dropped off in working police cars. We couldn’t do it, “said McGuigan. “It’s kind of unique, we’ve had lots of vehicles but never any that were just dedicated to PR.” Needing some mechanical and interior work, the department got the car fixed up. They purchased the headlights to give the car a further “vintage” look, which is, as McGuigan is quick to point out, different from “authentic” since the car was never used for police work back in its day. The car is complete with the department’s newest striping package, which was voted best dressed in Canada in 2009 by The Blue Line magazine. “It’s a real eyecatcher,” said McGuigan. McGuigan said the car will also be used in events around the community, such as parades. Charlottetown deputy Chief McGuigan recently took a new police public relations vehicle, a restored 1952 Dodge, for a spin around Victoria Park. The city’s high schools will hold draws for couples to get their ride to prom in the sharp-looking car. Money raised will be put into a fund for future safe grad “chem-free” events. Some high school couples will get lift to their prom in snazzy 1950s police car.