Once "incarcerated", the prisoners must raise enough money to "make bail", with all proceeds going towards the Cops for Cancer Tour de North bike ride from Prince George to Prince Rupert later this fall. Although these regularly law-abiding citizens are sitting where the never thought they would, Inspector Pat Egan says it's all in fun.
"We've had lots of laughter, lots of energy in the cell," he says. "It was as busy as I've ever seen it at the Jail N' Bail, between 11:00 and 11:30 we had a real crescendo. It was packed… standing room only, we ran out of chairs."
By 1:15 p.m. over $13,000 had been collected, with more on the way from pledges. Egan says so far the jail cell has seen prisoners from all corners of the community. Mayor Lori Ackerman is currently in the clink, trying to raise $2,500 for her bail, while Moose FM's Kaymia Wheat is locked up with a $1,000 bail.
"It looks like once again the community of Fort St. John is rallying to the cause; people are very much in support of this charity," Egan says. "Just an outstanding response from the community."
He adds that he's seen some people that are better connected in the community help out those who may be newer.
Last year's Jail N' Bail event raised almost $34,000 to fund research for pediatric cancer, which is around where the RCMP is hoping to reach this year. The Jail N' Bail will be up until around 4:00 p.m., so there's still time to go donate, or issue an arrest warrant for a friend, family member or colleague.
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