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Photo: Lynlee, 2, and Shane Clauson, 3, were two of the first youth to get free prizes from the bike patrol for wearing their helmets while riding their bikes at the Centennial Park skate park./Kimberley Molina

 A new RCMP bike patrol will be taking to the streets of Fort St. John this summer.

The patrol will have two full-time members, with around seven part-time members, and will officially run from July 1 until Sept. 1.

Constable Jackelynne Passarell says the officers will act as a safety assurance for the community, being able to patrol walking trails and park areas, as well as being able to deter vandalism and loitering.

She says the benefit of having officers on bikes is that they can go into areas where a police car can’t.

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The officers have taken special training courses that included pulling over vehicles.

They can hand out various tickets for offences, but will also be implementing a “Positive Ticketing Campaign”. The campaign allows the officers to give out coupons for free items to youth who they see abiding by the safety laws – such as by wearing proper safety gear when skateboarding or bicycling – so as to encourage positive, healthy behaviour.

The prizes have been donated by various local sponsors, and young people who get a positive ticket can also get their names entered in a draw for a $100 gift certificate from Ferris Fast Cycles.

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