A pair of Estevan Police Service officers were part of the massive law enforcement presence in Saskatoon over the weekend to keep watch over the Hells Angels' national run.
Seventy-five officers from throughout Saskatchewan and other provinces joined forces with the Saskatoon Police Service to monitor the event, which was attended by over 400 members of the motorcycle club and its associates. Constables Macaully Senger and Joel Pullman of the EPS spent the weekend in the Bridge City working on one of the four traffic units.
Senger said his and Pullman’s unit was initially positioned at a traffic stop just outside of Saskatoon where they checked on motorcyclists and other vehicles.
“We checked over the bikes making sure they were roadworthy and making sure they had the proper licences and documentation and then they could pass freely into the city,” said Senger. “We did that Thursday, and Friday and Saturday we set up check stops throughout the city looking for impaired drivers and making sure again that everyone was driving with the proper documentation. Throughout the weekend there was probably close to 200 officers on the street at one time. It was nice to see all the agencies come together and work together as well as they did.”
The Hells Angels' national run is an event the club holds every few years and is said to be mandatory for its Canadian members. Along with the Hell Angels, members from associate clubs were also in Saskatoon for the event.
The expected presence of that many bikers attracted nationwide attention to the event and also led Saskatoon’s police force to call in reinforcements. According to a report in the Saskatoon Star-Phoenix, along with handling traffic, some officers collected intelligence on Hells Angels who might have ties to criminal activities.
Senger said the weekend was a learning experience for both him and Pullman and exposed them to people they might not deal with ordinarily.
“We checked a lot of the B.C. and Alberta group. At one time, it was actually kind of amazing to see, we had about 70 bikes coming down the highway at one time. That was neat to see. Our group probably checked about 150 bikes.”
Although the Hell Angels, and many other bike clubs, bring a certain reputation along with them, Senger said the bikers he dealt with were largely respectful to the officers.
“They know what our role and responsibility is in the community and in the province, and they know that they have to abide by all the rules. They know, wearing the colours they are, they expect what they saw out of us and we expected what we saw out of them. There was a few that voiced their opinions a little larger than others, but generally speaking everyone was joking around with one another and all the agencies got along well with all the bikers that came through.”
According to reports, the national run went incident free. The Star-Phoenix report said the Hell Angels held meetings at their club, golfed and some even went on a river cruise.