Get the golden ticket: Granby police award good citizens
Granby’s Police Department is ramping up its community outreach efforts with the initiation of a new program they’re calling, “Golden Tickets.”
The Golden Tickets program is a good citizen reward program meant to foster dialog and relationships between officers and citizens who rarely encounter local law enforcement. Under the program, officers from the police department carry small wooden nickels called golden tickets, so named for the Granby Police Department’s logo emblazoned on the front, and will hand them out to citizens they witness engaging in positive behavior such as following the law, practicing proper safety and general acts of goodwill.
The department is partnering with local businesses to provide free ice cream cones for children and free coffees for adults who receive the tickets.
“These coins will be given for acts such as practicing bicycle safety by wearing protective gear, or for picking up after their dog when walking in town limits,” the department explained.
Granby Police Administrative Sergeant Amy Ryan-Williams explained the thinking behind the new endeavor as a way to branch out and reach the portion of the community officers don’t regularly encounter.
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“We as a department are really striving for community oriented policing,” Ryan-Williams said. “It is a good way to connect with good citizens who are doing the right thing.”
The program was developed during a departmental planning session several weeks ago. After the program suggestion was made, the department began reaching out to local businesses. The Granby Police so far have landed partnerships with Granby businesses such as Java Lava, McDonald’s, Moo Moo’s and Starbucks. Ryan-Williams said the department is still in discussions with other local businesses, too.
Businesses partnering with the Golden Ticket program have agreed to donate the cost of coffees and ice cream cones that they will be handing out. To ensure no particular business is burdened by their donations, each nickel will be business specific and each restaurant will have a total of five tickets. After citizens turn in the tickets for free coffee or ice cream, the various businesses will return the tickets back to the police department for redistribution.
Each nickel will list the particular business where citizens can redeem their golden tickets. Ryan-Williams said McDonald’s will also offer golden ticket recipients a choice between a small ice cream cone or a small order of French fries.
The program is something new and was not modeled on any similar programs in different departments, according to Ryan-Williams.
“We just pitched it at the planning meeting and it really stuck,” she said. “Someone said we should reward people, and we just ran with it.”
Officers from the department will begin carrying the tickets this week to distribute to citizens as they see fit. The department has plans to continue the program for the long-term so long as local businesses remain willing to partner on the project.
Ryan-Williams confirmed the Golden Tickets program was not initiated in response to any negative incident or negative perceptions the department felt exist within the community.
“We try to integrate well into the community,” Ryan-Williams added. “This is just another facet of that. Community interaction is really what we are striving for.”
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