Thursday, 13 June 2013 09:02

Program awards good behaviour in Swift Current with positive tickets

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Doing a good deed in Swift Current this summer might result in a ticket from a police officer or other emergency services staff.

 

The positive ticketing program got under way at the end of May to ensure that good behaviour by young people does not go unnoticed.

The program is an initiative of the Swift Current & District Drug Task Force in association with the Swift Current RCMP, Fire Department and EMS.

Kelsey Macknak, a Drug Task Force steering committee member, said the aim of the program is to reinforce positive behaviour.

“Often times when uniformed officers or professionals come around it’s not always for a good reason,” she said. “This positive ticket is to try and reinforce those relationships with the professionals in the community and actually give them a ticket to recognize them for doing something good in our community.”

The campaign will take place until the Labour Day long weekend in September and over 600 tickets will be issued.

“We want to promote positive behaviours but it’s also a safety thing, so not texting while crossing the street,” she said.

Emergency services staff will have their tickets ready when they see someone wearing a bike helmet or doing something that benefits the community.

A coupon with a price from a participating business is attached to each positive ticket. Around 40 businesses are taking part in this year’s program.

“We’ve had a great turnout from the businesses,” she said.

This year there is also a ticket book for use by the RCMP school liaison officer at the Swift Current Comprehensive High School.

“She’s already very active in the school, but we hope that around the school we can make it known too that she’s watching out with the students there and ticketing the students there,” Macknak said.

Another addition to this year’s program is family oriented tickets that will be issued to adults who are behaving in a positive way, for example parents wearing bike helmets with their children or an adult who is a designated driver.

Positive ticketing programs have been established in communities across Canada. In addition to supporting good behaviour by youth, these programs help to promote positive encounters between emergency services staff and young people.

“Often times it’s an opportunity to meet the youth and having a conversation about specific things, maybe alcohol use, substance use,” Macknak explained. “It’s a way to promote that relationship and build upon that.”

The Swift Current program has been in place for a number of years and it has been well supported by local businesses.

“They’ve all been very positive and it’s well received,” she said. “So it’s great when we know we’re actually doing something good for the community.”

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Matthew Liebenberg

Reporter/Photographer

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