Program rewarding Richmond's youth for good launches again

It has been going for 18 years and is still going strong.

The Positive Ticket for Youth program is being launched again this spring, with young people continuing to get caught and rewarded for doing something good.

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Run by Richmond RCMP, the City of Richmond’s Youth Services and community partners, the program has been updated with enhanced offers and a new ticket design.

Richmond RCMP started the initiative in 2001, before it was adopted by many other agencies across North America.

The enhanced 2019 program provides Richmond RCMP officers and other community service providers, such as youth development staff at community centres, support workers, school councillors and social workers, to give positive tickets to young people up to 18 years of age.

Each ticket can be redeemed for one free drop-in at a participating community facility of choice for activities such as skating, swimming, a round of pitch and putt golf, a workout in a fitness centre or sport open gym.

By participating in sport and recreation, the Positive Ticket Program aims to foster healthy, active and involved lifestyles for Richmond youth, as well as enhance physical and social connectedness within the community.

And at the same time, it’s hoped the program bridges a gap between today's youth and the police.

“It's a great feeling when we (officers) are in the high schools and youth aren't afraid or embarrassed to talk with the police,” said Const. Tammy-Lyn Walker, of the Richmond RCMP Youth Section.

“Usually they will high-five us or come up and chat, it's a great opportunity to reward them with a Positive Ticket.

“The youth are just used to us being part of their school community and they know we are there if they need us.

“The relationship building is so important and the positive ticket helps that connection.”

The youth know, added Walker, that the officers are “not there to just bust them or to judge them, but to help them make those great decisions that will impact their future.

“Even at times when they have possibly made a mistake, they own up to it because of the relationship they have built with their school liaison officer.

“That's the Richmond RCMP's goal here, we want the youth of Richmond, along with the community as a whole, to not be afraid to talk to police. We want to build those trusting relationships.”

Mayor Malcolm Brodie said the city is “proud to continue to support this innovative program.

“It both supports our commitment to having police services that connect to our community and our own youth services plan, which focuses on helping youth develop the life skills to have a safe and healthy journey into adulthood.”

For more information on the program, visit richmond.ca/youth.

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