The Rankin Inlet fire department and bylaw stepped up to help the Rankin Rock novice team fundraise in Rankin Inlet on April 5.
Fire Chief Mark Wyatt said he was approached by Alysha Sateana on behalf of the Rankin Rock minor hockey novice team that was trying to fundraise in order to compete at a tournament in Winnipeg from April 12 to 14.
Wyatt said Sateana asked if the fire department and bylaw would take over the Jail ‘N’ Bail fundraiser, as the RCMP refused to pick people up on behalf of the fundraiser.
“She asked if we could help them out and we said yes, of course, to help the kids, so I asked her what their concept of the fundraiser was,” said Wyatt.
“She told me they wanted to hold the event for two hours, have it cost $20 to arrest someone and then have it cost $20 to bail them out.
“I asked her if they had a jail and warrants to add to the whole experience – make it more fun – and pointed out that $20 to bail somebody out really wasn’t very much.
“We, kind of, mapped out the whole idea for them on how they should do it, went and built a jail cell, and then I came-up with warrant applications so that people could fill them out to have someone arrested.”
Wyatt said he and bylaw officer Kyle Lowe started going around the community picking people up around 10 a.m. and they went right through until 5 p.m.
He said they had about 20 warrants each when they started in the morning and they just kept coming in all day.
“I believe it cost $40,000 or $50,000 to fly a team and their parents to Winnipeg for a tournament, and it’s simply amazing the amount of money raised in Rankin Inlet each year to send teams out to hockey tournaments.
“As we were going around delivering the warrants, there were a number of people who wanted to take the Indonesian route and just pay the officer right there and not have to go to jail.
“So we took the bribes – I mean the payments – and let people pay their bails but, if they didn’t have any money, we put cuffs on them and took them to jail where they could either figure out a way to come up with the money or sit there for an hour.
“There were actually a couple of people who ran away when they saw us coming, and I pulled a couple of people over and issued them with warrants right on the street. It was a fun day.”
Wyatt said were a couple of people who just wouldn’t get into the spirit of the fundraiser and were a bit cranky about everything.
He said he and Lowe tried to make the fundraiser fun for everyone, and if anyone got too cranky he just made the handcuffs tighter.
“Nick Tattuinee got thrown into jail three times I think, and Troy Aksalnik was in there with him.
“There were a few people who, after they paid their bail once or twice, finally said forget about it and take me to jail.
“They had to serve one hour in lieu of $30 bail.
“I brought one guy in while Nick and Troy were in the cell and I told him if I were you, I’d keep my back up against the wall. He didn’t seem to know what to make of that.”
The Jail ‘N’ Bail raised $5,571 for the novice kids.
Wyatt said it was, pretty much, $50 per person, so that works out to more than 100 people he and Lowe brought in.
He said the novice kids are going to pay a visit to to department when they arrive home from Winnipeg.
“The kids were extremely happy that we did this for them and, now that we have the jail cell, we’ll probably do more of them in the future.
“From our perspective, I think I would limit it to once a year because it basically took us right out of the mix for working for a whole day.”