Vernon Fire Chief arrested (snicker)

Vernon Fire Chief, Keith Green, was arrested during a news conference at the Vernon RCMP detachment on Monday morning.

In dramatic fashion, RCMP Superintendent Reg Burgess and Corporal Lillian Frechette busted through the conference room doors and placed Green in handcuffs in front a pack of stunned reporters.

The two officers had been staking out the conference room since 8 a.m. on a tip that Green would be in attendance.  

Burgess and the Vernon RCMP are not releasing any information about the charges at this time, saying only that Green will have an opportunity to post bail on Friday June 7.

Green's lawyer, Ignatius Pielecki, says he plans to fight the charges on the basis that his client was not read his rights or properly informed of the charges, and is being held for five days without bail.

"Mr. Green is an upstanding member of this community and is not a flight risk. This arrest is completely unconstitutional," said Pielecki.

Green's coworkers, however, say they are not at all surprised by the arrest. Deputy Chief Lawrie Skolrood worked with Burgess and the RCMP on the sting operation.

"We really wanted to see Keith get arrested. When Superintendent Burgess contacted me, I was more than willing to help the cause," said Skolrood.

Skolrood, of course, is talking about Cops for Kids, a charitable foundation made up of dedicated RCMP members and support people of the RCMP South East District that are committed to assisting children that are in medical, physical or traumatic crisis within the Southern Interior Region of British Columbia.

Cops for Kids along with the Armstrong Kin Club and Boston Pizza Vernon will be sending some otherwise law-abiding citizens to the slammer, in the name of helping children.

On Friday June 7 in Vernon, suspects like Keith Green will be arrested by off-duty police officers and taken to Boston Pizza where they will be tried by the presiding judge. Once "convicted" they will face time behind bars until they fundraise enough money for bail.

"This is a fun way for us to raise money to help kids with items that aren't covered by government or other local agencies," says Sean Matile, owner of Boston Pizza in Vernon.

"If you'd like to snitch on a friend or coworker, or even nominate yourself, we'd love to lock you up in our jail for a while," said Matile.

Proceeds from the event will help Cops for Kids pay for much needed medical equipment, therapy, learning and mobility aids for local children.

Burgess, who is also the Vice President of Cops for Kids, says they still need more jailbirds to help reach their fundraising goal. 

"Cops for Kids has helped quite a few North Okanagan families with finances to help them through their struggles," said Burgess "As our requests from local families grow, we're working harder to meet that demand."

If you or someone you know might be deserving of a summons, you can click here to visit the Cops for Kids website or call 250-801-4438 to arrange an arrest.

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