Michigan: DNR conservation officers host 'Stuff a Truck' Dec. 13 to collect toys for Detroit children

Contact: Lt. Todd Szyska, 313-396-6890 Agency: Natural Resources

How many toys can fit in the back of a Department of Natural Resources conservation officer's patrol truck? The officers who patrol southeast Michigan will find out Friday, Dec. 13, when the DNR partners with the Belle Isle Conservancy and Detroit Police Department to host the department's inaugural  "Stuff a Truck" event. It runs 5-8 p.m. during the annual Belle Isle Holiday Stroll at the Detroit island park.

During the stroll, local conservation officers will be set up in the casino parking lot, located on the southwest side of Belle Isle, to collect new, unwrapped toys for needy children.

Starting now, toys also can be donated at the DNR Outdoor Adventure Center or the DNR Customer Service Center (both at 1801 Atwater St., Detroit) according to the scheduled days and times below. (These collections stop at 3 p.m. Friday, Dec. 13.)

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DNR Customer Service Center
  • Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

DNR Outdoor Adventure Center
  • Wednesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.   Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.   Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.

"We are excited to work with our brothers and sisters at the Detroit Police Department to do some good for our local community," said Lt. Todd Szyska, who manages conservation officers in southeast Michigan. "We hope the public will come out to support this effort during the annual Holiday Stroll on Belle Isle. Anyone who brings a toy to donate can personally add it to the patrol truck, chat with local officers and enjoy a cup of hot chocolate."

DNR conservation officers will join DPD officers to deliver the toys as part of Detroit's Sergeant Santa – an annual holiday program sponsored by WWJ Newsradio 950 and the Detroit Police Department.

"Whether it's visiting Mrs. Claus at Santa's Workshop, shopping the Holiday Marketplace, watching a choral performance or grabbing a snack from the food truck court, you will find that there's a little something for everyone here in Detroit's backyard," said Michele Hodges, president and CEO of the Belle Isle Conservancy. "We are thrilled to be using this event as an opportunity to partner with the DNR Law Enforcement Division on Belle Isle and gather gifts for families in need throughout Detroit."

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Michigan conservation officers are fully commissioned state peace officers who provide natural resources protection, ensure recreational safety and protect citizens by providing general law enforcement duties and lifesaving operations in the communities they serve. Conservation officers patrol Belle Isle to ensure the public's safety and enjoyment of the island.

The DNR is accepting applications through Nov. 25 for the department's July 2020 conservation officer academy. Learn more about this rewarding career opportunity at Michigan.gov/ConservationOfficers.stats

Filed Under: Government, State

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