The North Charleston Police Department is partnering with local non-profit organization Metanoia to pilot a “Positive Ticketing” campaign in select North Charleston neighborhoods. It is inspired by a number of similar successful “Positive Ticketing” programs across the U.S. and Canada. The ultimate goal of the campaign will be to strengthen community-police partnerships and to encourage youth towards positive behavior. says North Charleston Police Chief Eddie Driggers, “There are a lot of young people doing the right thing and positive ticketing is a way for us to say ‘thank you’.”
Beginning July 15, officers on patrol in the Chicora/Cherokee, Union Heights and Accabee neighborhoods will begin issuing Positive Tickets to youth. Seeking to “catch youth doing the right thing,” officers will give these tickets to youth whom they witness doing positive things in the neighborhood. Examples include picking up litter, helping out at community events, or wearing helmets while riding bicycles. Youth will then be able to exchange these tickets for prizes such as vouchers for water parks or meals at partnering restaurants.
The North Charleston Police Department welcomed Metanoia’s suggestion of the positive ticketing program and the organization’s willingness to sponsor this initial pilot program with financial support. The opportunity to begin creating positive interactions with neighborhood youth and their families aligns well Metanoia’s mission to invest in neighborhood assets to build stronger communities. “Metanoia sees both community youth and police officers as potential assets in the communities we serve. This initiative is designed to get these two groups working together to solve community concerns rather than having them be at odds. We are proud to sponsor this initial pilot program and look forward to seeing the relationships it will build.”
A Press Conference will be held to further answer questions about the positive ticketing program on July 13 at 10:30am at North Charleston City Hall. Representatives of North Charleston Police Department and Metanoia will be on hand along with others involved in the initiative to answer questions. The official kick-off of the program will occur on July 15th when North Charleston Police Officers will join the 100 students in Metanoia’s Freedom School in kicking off the initiative within the neighborhood beginning at 1pm at Mary Ford Elementary School (further details available at media event on July 10 at 1pm).
Metanoia, based in Chicora-Cherokee in North Charleston, SC, is a holistic community development corporation that operates a Youth Leadership Academy, a quality affordable housing development effort and continues to facilitate a number of community-led neighborhood initiatives. In addition to academic excellence, high school students of the Youth Leadership Academy focus on financial, entrepreneurial and life skill development. (more info at www.pushingforward.org).