M’CHIGEENG – The UCCM Anishnaabe Police Service recently donated a decommissioned 2016 Dodge Charger to Manitoulin Secondary School for its automotive program. The vehicle, dubbed ‘General Lee’ in a throwback to the television show ‘The Dukes of Hazard,’ won’t be licenced for use on-road again so the donation provides students with the opportunity to work on a later model vehicle without worrying about damaging it, according to Staff Sergeant Brad Mack, who led the initiative.
“We understand that schools don’t have the budget to bring in newer vehicles so with the Charger, students will have the opportunity to disassemble and inspect the motor, to replace parts and get it running again without a nervous owner hovering nearby. It gives students hands-on experience,” said Sgt. Mack. He enjoyed learning automotive technology in school and believes it is important for the next generation to continue learning trades. “In our society the measure of success is academic grades and we have to help people going into trades to develop the right skill set. We want to do our part to help students achieve their goals,” he said.
The donation also contributes to positive relationships between police and youth and helps to demonstrate police willingness to engage with youth, Sgt. Mack explained. “It’s important that we continue to work together to strengthen those bonds,” he said.
This isn’t the first vehicle donation by the service. There was a previous donation to Manitoulin Secondary School and last spring they donated a vehicle to Kenjgewin Teg’s automotive program. They have also donated at least one vehicle to each of the six First Nation communities serviced by UCCM Police.