The Long Beach Police Department has launched a youth good behavior and bicycle safety campaign entitled “Operation Commendable Kids.” During this campaign, officers will be issuing “tickets” to young people in the city who display commendable behavior or bicycle safety practices, especially wearing a helmet. The “tickets” will actually be the value of one complimentary treat— maximum $4 value — from a variety of local businesses.
City Councilman Anthony Eramo said that city has multiple goals in enacting this program. First, he said, they want to promote safety when riding bikes and scooters. Kids can receive the “tickets” for wearing their helmets, riding on the sidewalk instead of the street and staying in the bike lane on the boardwalk, Eramo said.
Additionally, he said, the city hopes it will help children begin to build a positive relationship with police officers. The LBPD wants kids to learn that the police are there to help, and that they should not be scared of them.
“It starts, at a young age, to build that friendly relationship the police officers need with the community,” Eramo said.
Lastly, Eramo said that the city hopes the program will be a boost for local businesses. Officials hope the “tickets” will help increase traffic to these businesses, and that parents may buy a treat also when bringing their child to redeem the voucher.
“This is a terrific way to encourage positive behavior and offer children an opportunity to interact with police officers,” Eramo said. “At the same time, it provides a nice promotion for local businesses — everybody wins.”
The LBPD has printed vouchers with all of the participating vendors listed. Each voucher contains the City Seal and an officer’s signature. At the end of the campaign, Police Commissioner Michael Tangney will use money attained through criminal convictions in the city to reimburse each business for half of the signed vouchers submitted.
- Gino’s: one slice, one small ice cream or one small ice
- Tutti Frutti: one small cup of frozen yogurt
- 20 Degrees: one small ice
- The Ice Shack: one small ice
- Baskin-Robbins: one kid’s scoop ice cream
- West End Pizza: one slice and one small soda
- East End Pizza: one slice and one small soda
- Ralph’s Italian Ices (West End): one small ice
- Long Beach Diner: one small ice cream