LETHBRIDGE, ALTA. -- Going for a swim is generally the last thing on most people’s minds during a bitter Alberta deep freeze.

For members of the Lethbridge Police Service, they likely hoped the weather wouldn't be quite so cold, but they still went ahead with this year’s Polar Plunge to support Special Olympians.

With COVID-19 changes in place, this year’s participants didn’t go for a dip in a lake like usual.

Instead, they decided to soak in a frozen ‘hot’ tub which, between the time they filled it and when they went in, had a layer of ice already forming on the surface.

Polar plunge

“I’ve done everything from running into a lake that didn’t have ice on it, to cutting a hole in the lake and jumping in that way," said Director of the Alberta Law Enforcement Torch Run and Lethbridge Police officer Braylon Hyggen.

“This is another new opportunity, jumping into a cold hot tub so every year seems to have its own different change on things.”

This year’s fundraising goal is $100,000 and anyone can register for the plunge until March 31 on the Polar Plunge website.

For Lethbridge Police Chief Shahin Mehdizadeh, jumping into a frigid pool of water in -25 C weather may look daunting, but he’s just happy to be able to support the cause

“This is just a little thing we can do to provide some support to [Special Olympians] and for the important role that they play in our community. We’re quite happy to be part of this.”

Last year, 590 plungers raised $197,000 to support Special Olympics in 140 communities across the province.

Edmonton Police held their plunge on January 31, and next in line is the Calgary Police Service.