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Battalion join police for local R.I.D.E. initiative

'It is important not only for us as a police service but for the players as well because they are role models in this town'
Battalion defenceman Trevor McDowell helps out during Monday's R.I.D.E. Program in front of Memorial Gardens Monday afternoon.

The North Bay Police Service got some local celebrity support on Monday afternoon. 

Members of the North Bay Battalion joined the North Bay Police during a R.I.D.E. program in front of North Bay Memorial Gardens at 1 p.m. 

R.I.D.E. stands for Reduce Impaired Driving Everywhere.  

"We just want to get them involved with the local police service and this is a perfect opportunity to do a R.I.D.E. here in North Bay right outside the Gardens," said Cst. Merv Shantz, corporate communications officer with the service.

"We are here for visibility. We want people to know as the North Bay Police, we are out here 24/7 just making sure people driving are sober or are not impaired by drugs or alcohol, " added Shantz who noted other police services such as the OPP were involved.  

Constable David Wright is a North Bay Police officer as well as a billet dad for Battalion players Brice Cooke and Brayden Turley.  He believes getting the Battalion involved makes a lot of sense. 

"Players are handing out discounted tickets and vouchers for popcorn to future Battalion games and also information from M.A.D.D. Canada about drinking and driving, some of the statistics," said Wright. 

"It is important not only for us as a police service but for the players as well because they are role models in this town and there are a lot of young people in this town and we want them to know that impaired driving any time of the year, especially at the holidays getting together for a party of something like that you are risking your future and it is not worth the risk."

Shantz believes there is no legitimate excuse for driving impaired but unfortunately, some still do it. 

"We try our best to get the message out there, unfortunately, 1,500 Canadians are killed every year and approximately 64,000 are injured in impaired driving crashes and we do all we can to get the message out there but unfortunately, some do not learn. 

To find out the risks of impaired driving in Ontario click here.

Chris Dawson

About the Author: Chris Dawson

Chris Dawson has been with since 2004. He has provided up-to-the-minute sports coverage and has become a key member of the BayToday news team.
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