The Prince Albert Police Service and the City of Prince Albert partnered on an outdoor bike rodeo in the Art Hauser Centre parking lot Saturday afternoon. The event included information about preventing bike theft and safety tips to help young bike riders prevent injuries.
Other event partners included Parkland Ambulance, the Prince Albert Fire Department, Fresh Air Experience and others who talked about the importance of bike safety.
“The purpose of the rally is a little bit of bike awareness and bike education in relation to bike riding,” Cst. Derek Simonson of the Community Policing Unit said. “We do have a station set up for bike maintenance. Fresh Air Experience, they are taking care of the maintenance part and then we have SGI and Sask Health Authority along with Parkland talking about injury prevention and brain injury and other sort of injury prevention things that they can do.”
Midway through the event there had already been almost 60 people through the rally, according to Simonson. The Bike Rally returned as another method of community outreach.
“They used to do the Bike Rally years ago but it sort of took a hiatus, I think from being a busy, busy police force,” Simonson said. “We have now done it, I believe, three years in a row.”
Last year’s event was at Parkland Hall, but this year it was at the Hauser. Simonson said moving around is an important part of the program.
“We wanted to move it around the city a little bit,” he explained. “Next year we might do it a different location too, just so that we reach out to all corners of the city and allow everyone some time that’s convenient, that’s close to where you live.”
At the Parkland Ambulance display, they taught about properly fitting a bicycle helmet, Fresh Air Experience conducted free bicycle safety checks and the Fire Department offered tours of a fire engine. Simonson said the safety aspect was an important part of the rally.
“We know that they are going to be out on their bikes,” he explained. “We want to ensure that they are riding it safely, want to make sure that their helmets are fitting properly and that they understand some of the rules of the road and skill sets.”
Knowing that the children have these safety rules in place with be a great thing for parents.
“That definitely makes riding season a lot more fun for sure,” Simonson said.
Simonson added that community policing allows the Prince Albert Police Service to promote education and awareness while allowing people to have positive interactions with police.
“We don’t simply just arrest people and whatnot,” he explained. “We do lots of really good things with our community and reach out and continue to grow that relationship.
“All of the kids have been doing really good. These are some courses or skills that we have pulled off of SGI for information. They have been studied and they provide kids with some good decision making things and some skill stations that will help them ride better throughout the summer.”
Other community partners taking part in the bike rodeo included SGI, Canadian Tire and the Prince Albert Police Association.