A side of fries to go with that good deed? Or a gift card? How about a movie pass?
Adding a fresh incentive to the notion that law enforcement can't do its job effectively without public help, police in Scarborough's 42 Division formally launched a project Wednesday morning whereby citizens get small, on-the-spot rewards for pitching in.
That could mean a voucher for a Mac's Convenience store item, a burger at McDonald's, a slice from Pizza Pizza or something slightly more valuable, depending on events.
Numerous police agencies acknowledge the assistance they get from the public, and twice a year Toronto police hand out awards for particularly useful contributions.
But this modest operation – the cost is picked up by the sponsoring companies – looks to be the first of its kind, says Inspector David Saunders, who came up with the "Positive Ticketing" idea.
It grew out of a successful summer-safety program last year which in turn was borne out of two notorious double murders – the multiple shootings on Danzig Street, just up the road from 42 Division, and the killings at the Eaton Centre.
So far 5,000 of the special tickets have been printed. And like the fast-food rewards they bring, they are instant, given out immediately by the officer. With its demographic mix, encompassing numerous people from countries where police are perceived as the enemy, 42 Division seems like a good place for such "an icebreaker," Insp. Saunders said.
Contributions of all kinds will qualify: Sticking around after witnessing a traffic accident; aiding a criminal investigation; or just helping out a stranger. Tickets already handed out since the operation began a few weeks ago have been given to Good Samaritans who rendered first aid to an unconscious man, comforted a robbery victim and aided a 90-year-old dementia patient wandering around in the cold.
"Every time you go out there something needs to be sorted out," Insp. Saunders said.
"But officers also see people at their best – stepping up, doing what's right. So this is a kind of small thank you,"
Details can be found at http://www.positiveticketing.ca/