OPP program helps take chill off police encounters with Ontario youth

Dec 13, 2011

ORILLIA, ON, Dec. 13, 2011 /CNW/ - The early return of a popular youth initiative may cause some kids to think Christmas has come early. Launched just twelve days before Christmas this year, the OPP Operation Heat Positive Ticketing initiative gives kids another reason to look forward to their next encounter with an Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) officer.

Thanks to a continued partnership with Mac's Convenience Stores across Ontario, Operation Heat recognizes positive behaviour by our communities' youth in a very warm way…with a warm and delicious treat!

Building on this past summer's highly successful Operation Freeze 2011, OPP officers who observe local youth doing random acts of kindness or exhibiting positive behaviour will be able to recognize that young person with a "ticket" which is actually a coupon valid for a free hot chocolate beverage valid at all participating Mac's stores in Ontario throughout the cold of winter this season.

In addition to recognizing good behaviour, Operation Heat promotes opportunities for OPP officers to interact with youth in a positive manner in support of the OPP Positive Ticketing Program. Officers may use the coupons to recognize youth for doing good deeds, participating in community activities, picking up trash, pro-actively deterring crime or observing safe-street crossing rules. Officers can also make use of the coupons as literal "icebreakers" to establish a dialogue with kids in their patrol area.

Though the reasons for issuing the coupons may vary, the end result of this youth positive ticketing initiative is the same for each youngster: a positive police - community interaction experience and a free hot chocolate beverage!

"Operation Heat provides law enforcement with an additional tool to initiate communication and reward our youth in a positive way", says Sean Sportun - Manager, Loss Prevention & Security for Mac's in Central Canada. "Mac's strives to be a leader in crime prevention and we are very excited about this initiative and the positive message it helps deliver."

Since the OPP Positive Ticketing Program's inception in the summer of 2010, more than 250,000 Operation Freeze and Operation Heat coupons have been used to recognize youth for positive behaviour across Ontario. During the upcoming winter months, over 60,000 Operation Heat coupons will be presented to kids by OPP Officers across Ontario.

"The OPP is pleased to once again participate in this highly successful initiative that recognizes youth for responsible and caring behaviour," said OPP Commissioner Chris Lewis. The level of support from the media, our communities and the positive feedback from our front line officers and youth has been amazing. Partnering with local business and engaging our youth in a positive manner builds partnerships that make our communities stronger."

To strategically engage more youth during our winter months when outside activity is typically reduced, Operation Heat will also be delivered this year through the OPP D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) Ontario Program.

"Dare Ontario is very pleased to participate in Operation Heat, advises OPP D.A.R.E. Coordinator Harry Lawrenson. We are proud to endorse this initiative to help kids make the right choices and decisions. "

Police Officers can sometimes be intimidating to many children and teens. But through OPP officers positive ticketing good kids for doing good things, Operation Heat can certainly help take the chill off their encounters with youngsters.

LEARN MORE

OPP Crime Prevention Section: Community Issues Page

D.A.R.E. Program: DARE Ontario

For further information:

Inspector Leslie Craig                                     Mr. Sean Sportun
Manager, Crime Prevention Section               Manager, Loss Prevention & Security
(705) 329 - 6435                                              Mac's Convenience Stores, Inc
  Central Canada
  (416) 904 - 3805
 
Harry Lawrenson
Ontario Provincial Police
D.A.R.E. Training Center Coordinator
(705) 434-1939 Ext.3956