« This is a very important program for our community, » said Inspector Chris McGillis, Hawkesbury OPP detachment commander, as he announced the creation of the « Positive Ticketing » program.
Ontario’s provincial police force has the « Positive Ticketing » program in other municipalities as part of its community relations work. This year the program becomes part of the Hawkesbury detachment’s proactive community outreach plan with the help of a $500 support grant from the Hawkesbury Police Service Board.
The aim of the Positive Ticketing program is to recognize and reward local youth for good citizenship when they display « positive behaviour » or do « random acts of kindness » during their day-to-day activities, whether at home, at school, or in the community at large.
Any local youth, 16 or younger, could find themselves getting a « positive action » ticket from an OPP officer if they are seen doing things like: practising personal safety by wearing a bicycle helmet, being active in community work, showing community pride by picking up litter, helping a senior citizen carry groceries, obeying traffic rules while bike riding or using a crosswalk.
The « Positive Ticketing » program also helps police build apport with youth and children in the community.
« It’s the most important thing, » said Coun. Robert Lefebvre, who sits on the police service board, « building that sense of rapport. »
Local children and youth who receive a « Positive Ticket » can redeem it at the detachment for a five-dollar gift certificate to McDonald’s or Tim Horton’s, which are also providing support for the program.