Placentia RCMP arrest Elf on the Shelf for impaired driving for PSA

Melissa Jenkins
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Newfoundland and Labrador public service announcement gets positive response

The Placentia detachment of the RCMP has thought outside the box for its annual Christmas public service announcement

Constable Tony Seaward of the Placentia detachment of the RCMP created a series of photos of the popular Elf on the Shelf beging arrested and booked for impaired driving.

The Placentia detachment of the RCMP has thought outside the box for its annual Christmas public service announcement.

For the second year in a row, the popular “Elf on the Shelf” children’s toy has been sending an important message to the residents of Newfoundland and Labrador.

The elf is a helper for Santa Claus who enters the home of boys and girls and reports their behaviour back to the North Pole. He only comes to life when everyone is asleep.

Constable Tony Seaward was the mastermind behind the campaign, which saw the red and white elf go on a drinking binge, drive drunk with fellow children’s toy Barbie, take a breathalyzer test and get thrown in jail.

Known for his mischievous nature, the elf has caused some trouble in houses across the province since it was introduced in 2005 through a children’s picture book by American author Carol Aebersold and her daughter Chanda Bell. But this amount of mischief is above and beyond what the average household would see their elf produce.

“Last year I noticed how popular (the elf) was on social media,” Seaward told The Compass in a phone interview from the Placentia detachment. “Last year we did a picture with the elf holding the radar in a police car. This year I just thought I’d try something else.”

Seaward decided to go with impaired driving.

He explained there are many Christmas parties taking place this time of year, and that has been one of the reasons drinking and driving is prominent during the holiday season.

When asked why the elf was chosen for the campaign, his explanation was simple.

“The elf is very popular, and it’s also an important message to get out,” he said.

The campaign, which was posted on the Facebook page for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Newfoundland and Labrador on Dec. 9, has gone viral.

An RCMP officer, who was recently transferred from British Columbia to Placentia, told the detachment the elf has received attention in BC as well.

So far, Seaward said, it has been viewed very positively.

The photo album has been shared hundreds of times, but will it change the behaviours of those who consider drinking and driving?

“With all these campaigns, it’s impossible to know if it is successful,” Seaward said. “If just one person sees it and doesn’t drink and drive, it’s a success.”

To see the photos, visit https://www.facebook.com/rcmpnl/photos_albums

Organizations: Royal Canadian Mounted Police, The Compass

Geographic location: Newfoundland and Labrador, Placentia, North Pole British Columbia

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Recent comments

  • Duggan
    December 12, 2013 - 21:22

    In response to Joslene, oh lighten up. Your children shouldn't be on facebook if they are in that age range. The only way they see it is if you show it to them. This is all in good fun, and intended to prevent drinking and driving, not to ruin a child's fun with elf on a shelf. But, for the record, the elf is a bad influence in the first place. Drawing on photos, having snow ball fights in a kitchen? Get over it.

  • Joslene
    December 12, 2013 - 20:17

    The elf on the shelf is geared towards children 3 yrs to 10 not adults. Adults may think its funny the children in my household do not.The RCMP had taken a wonderful Christmas experience and turned it into a drunk, driving handcuffed little idiot. Thank you RCMP, We are so disappointed. As one little boy said "why would they do that". You answer the question because I can't.

    • jessi
      December 16, 2013 - 20:05

      Why not use it as a teaching opportunity instead of getting mad at the RCMP? Sure, your kids may be 3 - 10 yrs NOW but its never too early to teach them safety and morality. Why would they do that? Why would they put the Elf on the Shelf in jail? Because he broke the law. The things he did were irresponsible and reckless, and he could have hurt some one. So they put him in jail to make sure he doesn't do it again It's like a time-out for grown-ups. Or elves. There, i answered your question. Merry Christmas.