Freetown Police Hand Out ‘Positive Citations’
Since August 5 the Freetown Police Department has handed out roughly 25 citations to kids and young people in the town as part of the Positive Citation Program.
The Freetown Police Association says the citations were issued for the following actions: helping a friend who was injured, wearing a helmet while riding a bicycle, wearing a seat belt, helping parents with yard work, holding a younger sibling's hand while walking down a busy street, enjoying some outside time, taking turns on an outside rope swing, keeping busy and having fun with a friendly game of basketball at a local park, wearing a life jacket while boating with parents on Long Pond, and participating in a weekly young marine program which also includes a class about staying away from drugs.
Upon receiving a citation, the young person can then bring it Annie's Ice Cream Shack at 50 Middleboro Rd. in Freetown, where they will get a free kiddie cup of ice cream.
Patrolman Thomas Ashley, of the Freetown Police Association, told WBSM News that they started the program as a way to build a positive relationship with the town's young people.
"Alot of times we do a number of things for the senior citizens," said Ashley "the only thing we really did for the kids was at event settings like 'Touch A Truck' or being at opening day for the local baseball league, we wanted to do something that was specifically geared towards them."
The program also comes at a time where the relationship between many police departments and the communities they serve is at a low point.
Ashley says that officers in Freetown already have a great deal of support from the community.
However, he does hope that this initiative will cause young people to see police officer as people who are there to help them and not people they need to fear.
"We have some outstanding citizens here in the Town of Freetown and we have alot of community support so I wouldn't say that's the only reason why we're doing this," said Ashley "but it's definitely something positive and we want to show the kids that 'hey we're for you, and we work for you, and if you need something, if you need our help, we're going to come help you.'"