After 29 years with the Victoria Police Department, Darren Laur wanted to do something special for his last day on the job Feb. 8.
Wearing his police uniform, he pulled over a vehicle with a family inside and nervously approached the driver’s side window, where he proceeded to ask for the license and registration.
It’s a routine Laur has done numerous times throughout his career, but this time was different.
Laur asked the family if they knew why they were being stopped, but they had no clue. Instead of issuing a ticket, the officer told them he was retiring, then handed over a gift card for doing everything right on the road.
“In 29 years I issued a lot of tickets to people doing things they shouldn’t be doing,” said Laur. “As soon as I got the first reaction from the first people, I knew right away this was going to be a good day and it was.”
The 50-year-old staff sergeant selected 14 more vehicles that day to hand out gift cards, leaving many drivers and passengers stunned by the friendly gesture. He also handed out roses to all of the civilian staff working in the department — people he said often go unrecognized.
Laur’s gesture also made its way onto social media, where a Facebook post by one of the families was shared more than 1,000 times.
“You brightened our day,” the post read. “Your kindness will be remembered.”
The day was an emotional one since Laur has spent more than half his life helping others. But it was the appreciation of a young girl in one of the vehicles that tugged on his heart strings the most.
“It was her birthday and she said thank you so much. That one made me tear up a little bit. That was my last act of kindness in a position of a Victoria police officer,” said Laur, noting officers do many kind things that often go unnoticed, such as purchasing sandwiches and coffee for the homeless or less fortunate.
“It was extremely satisfying. Usually, most of our contact with the general public is always negative, something bad has happened. This was a very positive contact. It was amazing.”
During his time with the Victoria police, Laur worked in a number of units, including undercover, the bike squad, beats section, patrol and social media investigations.
Although the door on his policing career is now closed, another has swung open. With his wife and son, Laur runs a company where he travels internationally, talking about Internet and social media safety and workplace violence prevention. Through his work, Laur said he’s helped more than 100 youth across North America who were considering self harm or suicide as an option.
“I was very passionate about what I did for 29 years but I’m not going to lose that passion,” he said. “If anything, I’ve just re-sprouted it again.”