Canadian Police Officer Apologizes to Nickelback for Drunk Driving Awareness Plan
It was recently reported that the Canadian city of Kensington had come up with a plan to blast Nickelback music in their police cruisers for drunk drivers they arrested as a deterrent to drunk driving. But the officer who started the plan has now apologized to the group after realizing that their message got lost along the way.
In a new Facebook posting via the Kensington Police Department from Constable Rob Hartlen, the officer discusses how the decision was ill advised, how he's apologized to the band and how he hopes to get the message out on drunk driving.
"So what do you do when you use a joke to carry a message, but the message turns into the joke," asks Hartlen at the beginning of his post. "As we have seen, our little post became an international story. And somewhere in the noise, the message of Don’t Drink and Drive was overshadowed by negativity towards the band I said I would play if you did. At first I admit I was fine with the way I worded the post. I was sure a hugely successful band would be fine with a little good will shade thrown their way, after all it’s for a good cause. But the more successful the post became the less the Don’t Drink and Drive message was mentioned and the fact we love or love to hate Nickelback took center stage," says Hartlen.
"That prompted me to think less about Nickelback as the 'Entity' and more about the four guys, four human beings from Alberta who were dragged into this international story. And the more I thought about that,the less funny the humor seemed," says Hartlen. "I was accused of making light of Drinking and Driving. I was stunned by that."
Hartlen continues, "I am sorry to Chad, Ryan, Mike and Daniel. Not as just members of Nickelback, but more importantly as fellow Canadians. I’m sorry guys because I didn’t take a moment to think of you AS just guys. Having to watch as media around the world takes a pot shot at you and having no way to defend yourself. I didn’t take a moment to think of your families as news agency after news agency used their loved ones as a punchline. I didn’t take a moment to think that you guys were the ones that stepped up first to the plate when other Canadians in Fort Mac needed help. I didn’t take a moment to think that you were the ones that give not only money to hundreds of charities but you routinely give that all important currency, time. You guys share so much with so many and I truly feel bad for using that the way I did. It was not my intention, It was not my desire but it was the outcome and I have to own that. So for that I am sorry."
Hartlen says instead of walking away from his misstep, he has reached out to the band to offer his apology and he still has a strong belief in the original message of not drinking and driving. He says he's learned that the band also shared the same belief concerning drinking and driving, so it was decided the best way to proceed was to take down the post and that he's working with the Kensington Police Service to launch a new Anti Driking and Driving message that embraces all Canadians. See his full post on the matter below.
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