Athabasca Advocate – July 25, 2017

Athabasca-Sturgeon-Redwater MLA Colin Piquette spent the July 17 afternoon making calls from the riverfront “jail,” charged with one count of being too good looking.

It was part of Citizens On Patrol’s first-ever jail and bail fundraiser, in which COP fundraiser Lexy Mroczek and RCMP Cpl. Dale Bereza spent the day “arresting” people around town and taking them to the riverfront. Before they could leave, they had to make their $125 bail by asking friends in the community for donations.

“The food here isn’t very good,” Piquette complained, gesturing to a loaf of bread and one water bottle. “That’s for all of us.”

Well-known community members were arrested alongside people who were nominated for arrest by the public.

Mroczek read some of the arrestees their rights as Bereza handcuffed them.

“Because you have the right to participate in making our community safer, because you have the right to reduce crime where you live and because you have the right to contribute to making Athabasca safe again, you are hereby taken into custody by Athabasca Citizens On Patrol and the RCMP,” she said.

According to Mroczek’s preliminary count, the event raised almost $10,000. She said all 34 arrestees exceeded their bail.

“It was a huge success,” she said. “The sportsmanship, the participation and the funds raised far exceeded our expectation.”

She said all of the money will go into the community, but could not reveal what the project will be at the time of the publication.

“I think this is an excellent fundraiser,” Piquette said. “I’m glad to be part of this. Citizens On Patrol is a great organization. As we all know the police simply cannot be everywhere … Citizens volunteering to act as extra eyes, I think, is wonderful.”

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