In the episode “Andy Saves Barney’s Morale” (1961), Andy goes out of town and leaves deputy sherriff Barney Fife in charge. Upon returning, he finds that Barney took his job so seriously, he has put the entire population of Mayberry in jail for petty crimes. (Wikimedia)

EDITORIAL: Break and enters remind us Agassiz is not Mayberry

Although vigilante justice may seem appealing, it only creates more problems for residents

A spate of break and enters across Agassiz lastweek created a flurry of Facebook posts on what the community should do next.

“Let’s make these lowlifes pay for coming into our town. Vigilante style, with non lethal weapons, will be the only message these crooks understand,” one wrote.

“With all the activity, I will be out driving around, not saying what time, but it will be a green little car. Any interested in joining let me know,” another said.

“Is public lynching still a go here?” asked a third.

From explosive dye packs to slingshots and marbles, residents came up with a number of innovative — and largely inappropriate — ways to catch the thieves. Parents were warned to give their teenagers a curfew; jokes were made about purchasing baton-style flashlights.

RELATED: Agassiz RCMP warn residents after week of break and enters

You can’t blame people for wanting to protect their homes, even if the methods are unorthodox. But perhaps Burns Grund, in his post to the “Life in Agassiz” Facebook page said it best: “Call the cops. Lock your doors. This is not Mayberry.”

No, this is not Mayberry — however much the quaint, small town nature of Agassiz hearkens back to the fictitious home of the Andy Griffith Show. But even if it was, vigilante justice wouldn’t do us any good.

In Mayberry, no one creates more chaos than the well-meaning, high-spirited deputy sheriff Barney Fife.

Remember when Barney decided Mayberry’s bank was a pushover for a robbery and stages a hold-up, only to end up locking himself in the safe? Or when an ex-con comes to visit the sheriff and Barney decides to tail Andy for his protection, only to end up hog-tied in the living room?

These are the moments that create humour and levity in the feel-good television show. They allow us to sit back in our armchairs and say “Oh Barney” as Andy steps in to save the day. These are not the moments we wish to create in Agassiz, where there are no writers behind the scenes to make sure everyone comes home unscathed.

It’s okay to be worried about your home, and it’s okay to do something about it. Just don’t be Barney Fife. Lock your homes, put your garage door openers away and remember, this is not Mayberry.

-Grace Kennedy, editor



grace.kennedy@ahobserver.com

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