A police ticket kids will eat up

Officers in West Phila. plan to issue children who do good deeds a summons to a treat.

Police in West Philadelphia plan to ticket youths starting tomorrow - but instead of a fine, the recipients may get free drinks, water ice or food.

Community officers in the 19th District are starting an initiative called "Positive Ticketing." Officers on daily patrol who see a child doing a good deed, such as sweeping stairs or the sidewalk or helping an elderly person, may issue a "positive ticket" that can be redeemed at participating businesses, said Officer Christina Linder, who saw a similar Canadian program on the Internet and introduced the idea here.

Police will target children ages 7 to 12, she said.

"There used to be a time when young men would stop what they were doing to help a person on the block carry in their groceries, and then go back to playing," said Linder, 38. "We want to reinstitute this kind of behavior."

She approached 7-Eleven as the first sponsor and said the manager had "jumped right on it." Other businesses followed. Linder said she hoped the program would be a success and spread throughout the city.

So far, business donations include Slurpees from 7-Eleven, water ice from Rita's Water Ice, Frosties from Wendy's, a child's entree (with adult purchase) at Applebee's, and a slice from Lucky Pizza.

Contact staff writer Barbara Boyer at 215-854-2641 or bboyer@phillynews.com.