Cops on bikes
Summer bike patrols under way
FORT SIMPSON (May 15/98) - By the end of the summer, Rick Lebeuf -- along with Grant MacDonald -- will probably be among the village's fittest residents.
And, no one should find this surprising. After all, how many of us can say our office has two wheels, a chain, and is powered solely by one's own strength?
Lebeuf and MacDonald can.
"It's a good way to exercise and a great way for us to meet more residents," says Lebeuf, a 12-and-a-half year veteran Mountie of his detachment's bicycle patrols.
"It encourages kids to be safety minded and we can get into places we can't always get to, thanks to the bikes."
The patrols, an increasing fact of life for police from across Canada, are now in their second year in Fort Simpson.
"We can perform just about all our police functions from our bicycles," Lebeuf says, adding that backup with motor vehicles, is only a call away.
Currently, the officers supply their own bicycles for the patrols. At the constable's last posting, Cape Dorset, there weren't proper roads available for a bike patrol. So, cruising the streets of Fort Simpson have become quite a treat for officers here.
Lebeuf also said that the bicycles will be an important part of the detachment's community outreach programming this year. Besides the annual bike rodeo, scheduled for Bompas next month, it is also hoped that cycling will become part of the newly formed Fort Simpson Youth Group's activities. The constable has been a driving force behind the establishment of the committee.
In other bicycle news, fellow RCMP Const. James Lang is reminding village kids that they can register their bikes either at the detachment, or at the village office. A complete registry is under construction, he said. Kids can also have their names engraved on their pedal machines by bringing them to the RCMP.
Even those who registered their bikes last summer have to do it again this year to ensure they are part of the local bicycle data base. Doing so, will assist Mounties in recovering stolen bikes.