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Police start annual toy collection

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By Jeff Widmer
Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012, 9:00 p.m.

When asked how the Carnegie Police Department's Toys for Tots Campaign is going so far, police Chief Jeff Harbin merely says, “We have some.”

Harbin, of course, is referring to toys for the Toys for Tots campaign, which benefits unfortunate children in the area. The police department annually partners with the United States Marine Corps Reserves.

During the past two decades, Carnegie Police Department has collected thousands of toys for the needy. This year, however, Harbin began the campaign earlier than normal because of the increased need.

“We were told, and I really believe now that I look at things, that there is more of a need for the toys this year than ever before. Why that is, I really don't know.

“So when we got word (from the Marines) that they were asking for more help this year, we were more than happy to get organized early,” Harbin said.

As always, the department is looking for new and unwrapped toys this year. They can be dropped off at the Carnegie Borough Building at 1 Veterans Way from now until mid-December.

The police department may extend that deadline until closer to Christmas, as it has in years past, Harbin said.

“The pickup day is something that is not set in stone. We will continue to collect toys at least until the beginning of the year, if that is something we want to do” he said.

If it were up to Harbin, “I would continue to collect the toys throughout the year.”

Harbin, who served in Vietnam, refers to himself as a non-active duty Marine. The Carnegie location has always been one of the better collection points for Toys for Tots, he said.

“I think it has a lot to do with the people who live in the area. I believe they understand and are very generous,” Harbin said.

Jeff Widmer is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5810 or

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