Have you ever wondered what it feels like to be a marginalized person, squeamishly waiting for an officer’s heavy boots to pace over to your vehicle, gesture for you to roll down your window, and shoot you directly in the chest, even though you didn’t do anything wrong?
Well, the lucky people down in Tempe, Arizona are going to be able to experience just that! Except rather than a .223 calibre bullet into your heart’s left atrium, you’ll get a friendly Circle K coupon from an officer who wants nothing more than to make a friend!
The Tempe Police Department what they call the “Positive Ticketing Campaign,” AKA, the “Scare Mexicans Campaign.” Yes, the same state that has fought vigilantly to curb illegal immigration by sometimes questionable means, now wants the public to trust them to pull you over, give you a pat on the head, tell you you’re doing a great job, and send you on your merry way.
The original press release by Tempe Police Department states officers would be giving away coupons to “community members who are safely adhering to traffic laws related to bicycle and pedestrian laws.”
“The idea behind it is to educate citizens from the youngest to the oldest on traffic laws, bicycle laws, things like that,” Tempe Police’s Det. Greg Bacon said.
“We will be having positive conversations with citizens, say an officer happens to stop somewhere and see somebody, and says ‘Hey would you mind having a conversation with me?’ (to) educate them on bicycle laws and traffic laws,” Bacon said.
After the constructive conversation that all horrified citizens of an unchecked police state want to have, officers can hand them a coupon from Circle K for either a hot beverage or a cold drink.
This is all apart of the Police Department’s “Vision Zero” initiative, which aims to have zero fatalities on the roads.
“This is just an opportunity for just positive engagement and gives an opportunity for officers to be human and have positive, engaging conversations with our citizens and to give them a reward,” Bacon said.
Reactions to the initiative have been … mild, at best.
Jokes aside, the initiative is aimed towards youngsters to help them learn about road safety, both in vehicles and on bikes.
We’ve tried it up north
The Calgary Police Department partnered up with Mac’s Convenience stores (now called Circle K’s across several provinces) last year to reward youths for positive behaviour. According to officials, the program was also an opportunity “for officers to interact with young people in the community.”
“The Positive Ticketing Program” allowed police to build relationships with youth in the community and reward good conduct by giving out vouchers for hot and cold beverages at Mac’s, according to CTV News.
“A couple of examples would include; good attendance at schools and demonstrating helpful behaviour to other people,” said Sergeant Andrew Critchley, Crime Prevention Team, Calgary Police Service.
“While some police officers will use the coupons to reward youth for things like wearing their bicycle helmet, doing good deeds, participating in community activities, picking up trash, deterring crime or observing school crossing rules others will use the coupons as ice-breakers to establish a rapport with the youth in their patrol area,” said Sean Sportun, ISCP, Manager, Security & Loss Prevention for Mac’s Convenience Stores Inc.