A program that was initially designed to show kids that officers are friendly and approachable has been updated to include all citizens in Maskwacis and Pigeon Lake.
Cst. Claire Myers with the Maskwacis RCMP detachment, along with a few other officers, earlier this summer developed a positive ticketing program earlier this summer after concluding that it would be a great way to get out in the community in a good way.
Other RCMP detachments in the province, going back as far as 12 years ago, developed positive ticketing campaigns in order to encourage a better relationship with teenagers and younger children.
“We knew Wetaskiwin had a positive ticketing program and so I called to ask if we could piggyback off of theirs,” said Myers in an interview.
“There was so much negativity going around with the COVID-19 pandemic and the recent deaths in the area, (that) we simply wanted to bring a positive spirit to the community.”
The program didn’t get going until July as it took some time for the tickets to be designed and printed, but it’s been a great success, which is why the detachment decided to keep it running into the fall and possibly longer.
“I was actually quite surprised,” she said.
“One example was when I went around and approached one home because it looked amazing, like it was kept in immaculate condition. When I knocked on the door, the man inside opened it up and looked at me like, ‘Okay, what did I do?’
“Then I said how great the yard and the house looked and said I was giving him positive ticket for keeping the community looking good. At that point, he was really excited, thanked me, but also corrected me by saying it was his mom’s house and that she should get it.”
The tickets are being dished out for simple things like picking up garbage, wearing a bike helmet and using a crosswalk to other acts that might not normally be noticed such as volunteering in the community, maintaining cultural awareness and
Each ticket is accompanied by a gift card or certificate from one of the numerous Maskwacis businesses that are participating.
“It’s been great, as the RCMP, to be able to partner with many local businesses and the amount of support we have recieved has been extremely overwhelming,” Myers said.
“From free ice cream cones to $5 and $10 gift certificates, it’s been great. It was a lot easier with the heat of summer as it was so hot and the kids really loved the cones.
“So don’t be surprised if the RCMP knock on your door or stop you on the road.”