“It’s a good opportunity to thank those for following the law,” Chapel Hill Police Lt. Celisa Lehew said.
Lehew said good tickets are exactly what they sound like: a reward for residents who obey the law.
Pedestrians using crosswalk signals and bicyclists following roadway signs would all qualify for good tickets. The tickets would include a coupon and brief information on safety laws.
Demetrius Williams, a Chapel Hill resident, said the initiative would benefit the community.
“You reward someone for doing good,” Williams said. “When someone’s doing something wrong, officers stop them to give a ticket, but when someone does something right, it’s never acknowledged.”
Williams said he believes the initiative will strengthen the police department’s relationship with the community.
“The only time you get to talk to them is when something went wrong,” he said.
The initiative will not only promote positive interaction with police officers, but also create opportunities for local stores and restaurants as well.
Franklin Street’s Noodles and Company and Franklin Street Yoga have both agreed to give coupons for the iniative. The promotions are restricted not to include alcohol, tobacco products and drug paraphernalia.
The program, which originated in Greenville, is a collaboration between the Chapel Hill Police Department and UNC’s Department of Public Safety.
Lehew said she hopes to have the tickets completed by the last week in October. While no end date for the program is planned, the ticket initiative is expected to continue throughout the year.
Lehew said the good tickets will be distributed at set times, days and locations that will be listed on Facebook, Twitter and the Chapel Hill town website.
Chapel Hill Town Council member Maria Palmer said she would love to receive a good ticket and the incentives would create goodwill between the public and law enforcement.
“You cannot do anything in Chapel Hill illegally without getting caught,” Palmer said.
“Most people in Chapel Hill don’t break the law. This is a way to show that police officers are here to enforce the law and, when you do the right thing, that they are on your side. Police are there to serve you, and the community appreciates this.”