MONT VERNON — Local police will be out in full force this summer to ensure area children are making safe decisions while school is out.
The Police Department is implementing its 2014 summer safety campaign, called “Caught in the Act.”
Police will be on the lookout for children acting in a safe manner throughout the next several weeks, according to Sgt. Aaron Daigneault.
“The motivation for this is to get police out and interacting with the kids in the community and to reward the children for anything safe,” said Daigneault.
Children who are caught in the act of doing something safe — wearing their seatbelt, wearing a bike helmet or using a designated crosswalk — will be rewarded with a Caught in the Act citation.
The certificate may be redeemed at the Mont Vernon General Store for a free slushy, said Daigneault.
“It is so great for the kids to be rewarded for good behavior,” said Dan Bellemore, owner of the town’s general store. “A lot of times we comment on their behavior when it is not that great, so this is a way to keep kids thinking positive and doing the right things. If we can help in any small way, it is all good.”
Last summer, free ice cream treats were distributed as part of the program, and Daigneault said local police documented 23 occasions in which certificates were distributed, although the number of children who received the rewards was nearly triple that amount.
“We are going to hand out as many as we can this summer,” he said.
Daigneault visited the Mont Vernon Village School recently to inform students about the summer safety campaign, encouraging them to remain safe and make smart decisions while school is not in session.
“There are kids that will go out and do laps waiting for us to notice them,” he said, warning children to not solicit police who may be in the middle of important work.
“The program is a great way for the police department to interact with the children of our community and give positive reinforcement for safe behavior,” Chief Kevin Furlong said in an online posting.
The program will run until Sept. 1.