The Canadian police officer who made a joke about Nickelback in an attempt to draw attention to an anti drink-drive campaign has said sorry to the band.
Constable Rob Hartlen last week published a post on the Kensington Police Service Facebook page, making a light-hearted threat that anyone arrested for DUI would be made to listen to Nickelback on their way to jail.
It’s been reported by TMZ that the band contacted the cops and asked for the post to be removed.
But the officer has said that the decision to delete was taken after he made contact with the band to apologise – and that he discovered they share strong feelings about drink-drivers.
As a result, a new DUI initiative is to be created, inspired by his conversation with Nickelback.
Hartlen has posted a detailed apology, describing his own actions as a form of bullying and asserting that he should have known better. He says: “At the time I thought this was a great idea, all pure intentions. As we have seen, our little post became an international story.
“Somewhere in the noise the message ‘Don’t drink and drive’ was overshadowed by negativity towards the band.
“The more successful the post became, the less the message was mentioned and the fact we love or love to hate Nickelback took centre stage.
“That prompted me to think less about Nickelback the entity, and more about the four guys from Alberta who were dragged into this story. The most I thought about that, the less funny the humour seemed.”
Hartlen says he was “stunned” to find himself accused of not taking drink-driving seriously. He later asked himself: “How could I walk into an elementary school and teach kids that bullying is wrong, when I was guilty of the exact thing?”
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He continues: “I am sorry to Chad, Ryan, Mike and Daniel. I didn’t take a moment to think of you as just guys. 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 he spoke to Nickelback about his post and drink-driving, and during the conversation, “I found out some wonderful news – they feel just as strong about it as I do.
“Now, instead of anyone being the butt of a joke, Kensington Police Service will be launching a new message, one that embraces all Canadians. With a united voice we will shout back against drinking and driving.
“So stay tuned – there are great things on the way.”