Emergency response organizations and the Prince Albert Optimist Club partnered together to help local youth understand and respect the law on Saturday.
Members from the Saskatchewan RCMP, Prince Albert Police Service, and other emergency service groups were on hand at the Prince Albert RCMP detachment to give kids a chance to positively interact with law enforcement at a Respect for Law event.
“We believe it is important for children to grow up with a strong belief in abiding by the law, respecting law enforcement, and doing what they can to maintain peace,” Optimist Club president Les Cragg said in a press release. “We hope that our project with the local students will help in this effort.”
Respect for Law drew a good crowd, despite the poor weather. Cragg and other club members said they hoped to see more kids, but were still pleased with the turnout.
“With the weather, not everyone is willing to venture out,” the Optimists’ Mavis Soujenar said. “We’re just happy with who we have.”
Carol Markling of the Optimists said the gathering was a positive, stating the purpose was so “our young people can come out and met and interact with our local law enforcement, and get together as a community.”
In addition to local police officers, children got to meet conservation officers, highway traffic patrol officers, and members of both the City of Prince Albert Fire Department and the Buckland Fire Department.
The groups created a kid friendly competition in order to break the ice. Each child received a card they had to get initialed by members of each organization. Once they succeeded, they were entered into a draw.
“We’re doing four draws,” Cragg explained. “There’s a bike, there’s a skateboard, there’s a football, a soccer ball, and all the kids get goodie bags. Everybody threw stuff in. I hope everybody enjoys the day.”
Priscilla Peters brought her children to the Respect for Law event, and was happy to see them enjoying the impromptu outing.
“It’s really nice,” she said. “My sister just sent me a link to it this morning, I didn’t know it was going on. I came with my family and was pleasantly surprised.”
Brian Dyck of the Buckland Fire Department was having fun showing some of the children how to operate life-saving equipment such as the jaws of life.
As the clouds started clearing, Dyck said, “The weather’s changing, it’s getting nicer, and people are coming out here. It’s great, the day’s just starting, so we’ll find out.”
Sergeant Lisa Molle of the RCMP agreed.
“I’m very happy with the turnout,” she said.
The music was provided by members of the Prince Albert Highlanders Bagpipe band, led by Dave Monette.
Monette said the group was happy to be back playing.
“This is the first time we’ve been outside performing this year, and (performing live) has been very slim the last 2 years,” Monette said.
“We’re very happy to be able to participate with the Prince Albert Optimist Club, the RCMP, and the Fire Departments here today, in bring the Respect for Law to the forefront for all of the people in the community to know about.”
At times during the day, it was difficult to hear the bagpipes due to the kids making the various sirens from the police, fire departments, and ambulance blasting. Monette was confident their next local performance would have less competition.
“We hope to be able to get out as a band with all of us, to play for the summer parade, for communities around Prince Albert, and for the Exhibition Parade August 2,” he said.
“Hopefully, we’ll not be put near any of the horns. We have been in a parade before. Usually we’re put in the front so we’re well away from the sirens.”