There are many ways in which an IPMBA conference impacts the community in which it is held. Some of the more obvious ways are economic; hotels, restaurants, bars, souvenir shops and attractions are eager to attract revenue that trickles through the local economy. Others are less expected, like the times a crime is perpetrated and an IPMBA member helps foil it, or someone suffers a medical emergency and an IPMBA member springs into action. Some are very subtle, like the vague sense residents might get that there are more than the usual number of cops on the streets.
It is always IPMBA’s hope that the conference have a positive effect on the community. IPMBA is proud to report that this was the case in Albuquerque.
Slipping into a Familiar Role
Dan Ballou of the Albuquerque Convention & Visitors Bureau, who worked closely with Pat Hernandez to bring the IPMBA Conference to Albuquerque, shared this brief anecdote:
As he was returning to his office downtown one day, he noticed a large group of elementary school students – 50 or so – outside on a field trip. Shephered by teachers and chaperones, they were attempting to cross a wide, busy street. They were young children whose short legs could not carry them very quickly, and as often happens with children, their line had become rather straggly.
Some of the kids had made it across but it was evident that the light was about to change. Suddenly, two bike officers swooped in, positioned their bikes, and without missing a beat, kept traffic at a halt. They were not wearing APD uniforms, but they slipped right into a familiar role. They saw a need and did their part to keep the kids safe from harm.
As the last child finished crossing, the bike officers jumped back onto their bikes and resumed their ride.
The Nicest Thing
Date: April 25, 2009
To: All the members of the International Police Mountain Bike Association Conference
From: Betty Lovering, Volunteer, Albuquerque Convention & Visitors’ Bureau
My friend and I volunteered Friday and Saturday afternoons, checking the bikes and riders in and out. We want you all to know what a wonderful group you are. We enjoyed meeting many of you and hearing about your own areas of the country. You were all so friendly and we are proud to have you taking care of our malls, schools, and open space areas, wherever you serve.
I especially want to thank one young man in particular. On the way out with his bike he asked if he could bring anything back. I jokingly said, “A chocolate soda would be nice.” Ten minutes later he returned and said he couldn’t find a chocolate soda but he hoped this would do. It was a can of soda with a chocolate ice cream bar on top! Anyone that innovative and thoughtful will go far, and it was one of the nicest things a stranger has ever done for me.
Good luck to you all!
(c) 2009 IPMBA. This article appeared in the Summer 2009 issue of IPMBA News.