Pretend police making real difference

Pretend police making real difference

Fredericton — The trail patrol “officers” in New Brunswick’s capital are doing a good job of biking around and pretending their job comes with a certain level of authority, according to the municipal Parks & Trees department.

“These kids — and they are kids — are really making us proud this summer,” said City of Fredericton staffer Neil Morris, who hired 2016’s group of power-hungry adolescents. “They’ve gone above and beyond. Normally they just leisurely bike around in groups of twos, checking out the trail system, ringing their little bells if anyone gets in their way. But this year, I dunno, something’s changed. They’re on the rampage.”

Morris went to explain that the trail patrol, who wear navy-blue uniforms that very much resemble those of the real police, have been trying to full-on arrest people who violate their adorable little codes of conduct.

“Let’s be honest, this is just a summer job to keep these kids out of their parents’ hair. But now they’re surrounding transgressors — say, someone who’s not wearing a helmet — and doling out real fines for real money. And the weird thing is, most people are totally buying it and just paying the fines, when they could as easily laugh and bike away.”

Shannon Aiken, 25, said she was pulled over on Tuesday by two 16-year-olds who informed her that, if she wants to use the city’s trail system via bicycle, she’ll need to wear a helmet and affix a bell to her handlebars in order to alert fellow pedestrians and bikers of her approach.

“I was like, ‘Aren’t you guys like 15 or something?’ I mean they had braces and acne and looked like the hugest dorks in history,” explained Aiken with a chuckle. “One of them asked to see my driver’s licence. I laughed and said ‘Why would I bring my licence when I’m just out for a bike ride? And furthermore, why on earth would I put a bell on my bike like a loser?’ They got all offended and said they would report me to their supervisor… whoever that is.”

Other Frederictonians have had the same experience. “Oh yeah, this summer they’re all about forcing people to use the appropriate arm signals when turning and slowing down,” said Kyle Henderson, 29, who was stopped by the trail “police” this past weekend. “I told them my dad didn’t teach me those signals when he taught me how to ride a bike when I was like 5… obviously. They sort of stuttered and pulled out their little manual and tried to figure out how to deal with me, so I just rolled my eyes and biked away.”

Fredericton Police, meanwhile, are happy that there’s even less for them to do in the summer than the rest of the year.

“We don’t do much as it is, and these little bike keeners are dead-set on laying down the law,” said police officer Greg Bellieu, licking an ice cream cone outside Read’s. “I consider it my summer vacation.”


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