I’m a little disappointed. This was supposed to be the 2008 Ponoka News, Police Blotter – Best Costume in Cells – Halloween Special. Alas, this year there were no prisoners in cells on Halloween night. This was not due to a shortage of potential costume wearing candidates wandering the streets, haunting bars or house parties either. It was because we had no guards/matrons available to baby-sit the prisoners (probably all off haunting and wandering around themselves somewhere) so the nearest drunk tank was in Hobbema (too far to go for all but the most deserving of cases). What’s worse is that I’m told that there was a very real possibility that if we did have a guard/matron on duty to baby-sit potential prisoners, there could have been as many as five silver Tin Men, you know, five “we’re not in Kansas anymore – Tin Man’s”. Oh! The possibilities.
Some people procrastinate when it comes to paying their outstanding fines. These people tend to impose a rather heavy reliance upon their personal supply of “luck”. Sometimes the fine becomes attached to a type of arrest warrant police call a “pay or stay”, meaning, if you are caught by the police, you either immediately pay the fine or you immediately begin to serve the equivalent jail sentence. Sometimes a person’s luck will manage to keep them out of our cells (for years even). Sometimes luck is overtaxed and becomes weakened to the point of exhaustion at the very moment your path crosses that of an annoyingly inquisitive police officer. In one such case this week, a woman’s “luck” was powering both of her headlights when it suddenly became exhausted, allowing one of the lights to become unlit and resulted in the police stopping her for the equipment deficiency. That stop led to her arrest, her vehicle being towed (her expense), her husband and toddler being marooned in a police station (hundreds of miles from home or their destination) and her calling anyone she can think of who will pay her fine and come to Ponoka to pick them all up. Luckily her “luck” had not abandoned her completely and she found one benefactor to pay her fine and another to drive from Calgary to pick them all up.
Incidentally, the reason “luck” was the theme of this little narrative is this: Some warrants have expiry dates and when we confirmed that her warrant was still effective, the RCMP member we spoke to at the originating detachment said, “Hey that’s lucky. This warrant was going to expire 23 minutes after you arrested her and was going to be removed from police data bases permanently.”
I had occasion to travel to Wetaskiwin General Hospital in the back of an ambulance this week. I heard one of their complaints dispatched to them and thought that these EMT(s) and paramedics should have their own blotter. The 911 operator was dispatching them to a medical emergency where the caller was complaining of suspicious symptoms which included “vomiting diarrhea”.
One night, after dark, a man called police to report that he was following a truck hauling a load of fresh manure and complained that the big truck that had no tail lights. RCMP members were all tied up at a serious collision with multiple injuries and a drunk driver. They could not attend. All they could do was to hope that the “skunk principle” takes over and that the other traffic would be able to sense the darkened vehicle on the road ahead of them; much like how you know that there is a skunk nearby without running, head first, into his tail pipe.
Three drunken dingbats got the brilliant notion to scale the walls of Ponoka’s Provincial Courthouse and play on the rooftop one night. They climbed a ladder up to the highest point of the rooftop (the mechanical room) and then one of them decided to take the quickest way down (forgetting why it was necessary that he had to take a ladder to get to that height in the first place). What followed was probably a quick thought devoted to how much longer this little jump was taking to finish than the jumper had initially calculated followed by a sudden sharp pain in a leg which now bends at two places instead of one. The two who were about to follow decided that the ladder was probably a better option and went down to discover that their friend had broken his leg. They recognized that they had no ability to get their pal off the roof so they did what any level headed, sober person would do in the same circumstances. They scurried off the rooftop themselves and called the injured teen’s mom and told her where he was. In the end, the fire department and paramedics arrived and rescued the young man from the rooftop and all three of the lads got to discover, first hand, the value of having a well trained and well equipped fire department in their community. (When I say “value”, I‘m not using the word as an alternative to the word “appreciate”, as in “we appreciate our fire department” … I actually mean that they are getting a bill to split three ways and to see the actual dollar value for this rescue in the form of an itemized invoice for parts, materials and labour … a lot of labour).
If you have information about any unsolved crime or ongoing criminal enterprise, call the Ponoka RCMP at 783-4472. You can also call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS or now leave tips anonymously on-line at www.tipsubmit.com . If this is the kind of environment that you would like to work in, we are hiring. Check us out at www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca or call 1-877-RCMP-GRC for information about the application process.