Being issued a ticket is never an enjoyable experience. But for the children of Akron, Ohio it’s no trouble at all.
For the second summer in a row, Akron police will participate in a “Positive Ticketing” campaign, rewarding children for good behavior. Tickets are issued to children seen helping others or following the law. Previous “citations” have included using the crosswalk, wearing a bicycle helmet and picking up litter.
The best part about these tickets is that there is no fine. Instead, each ticket is good for an ice cream at any local McDonald’s. Each ticket also can be entered in drawings for free bikes and helmets that will be given away throughout the summer.
Lt. Rick Edwards, who came up with the idea, said the tickets are great conversation starters with children.
“It encourages officers to get out of their cruisers and develop relationships in the community,” Edwards told the Akron Beacon Journal.
Rather than only having interaction with kids when there is a negative experience in the neighborhood, Akron police hope to initiate a positive rapport with local youth. The end goal is to make children feel more comfortable calling on officers for help.
Two shifts of Akron police officers will carry ice cream ticket books. More than 1,000 tickets are expected to be handed out between now and early September, when school starts.