The Vancouver Park Board and Vancouver Police Department are piloting a recognition and incentive program called Positive Ticket.
Park Board Community Youth Workers, VPD School Liaison Officers and Youth Services Officers will be handing out tickets to young people as a reward for good behaviour such as returning a lost wallet, being a positive role model for a friend, or creating an inclusive space by inviting youth to join in a sport.
Each ticket is redeemable for four free drop-in visits to Park Board pools and rinks (skate rentals included) and participating fitness centres. Tickets are transferrable so recipients can bring a friend or family member with them.
“The Positive Ticket program is a way to engage and recognize youth with free passes to community centres where they can work out, make social connections and find a safe and supportive environment,” said Park Board Chair Stuart Mackinnon.
The goal of the Positive Ticket program is to empower and value young people, build positive relationships with youth, create positive change in behavior, recognize their contributions to the community, and welcome youth at Park Board facilities as valued participants.
“We don’t always realize how big of an impact we have on the young people we interact with until we see them years later: resilient, well-adjusted and contributing positively to the community,” said Park Board community youth leader Gogo Lalli.
The VPD has partnered with Park Board in the program as a way to enhance trust and deepen positive relationships with Vancouver youth.
“This program will provide our officers with opportunities to break the ice with youth who may otherwise not be interested in speaking with the police. It’s nice to be able to encourage positive behaviour with complimentary access to fitness centres, pools and rinks” said VPD school liaison officer Constable Julie Birtch.
The Positive Ticket pilot program will run until July 31, 2018, when it will be evaluated. Variations of this program have been established in communities such as Richmond, Kelowna, Calgary and Toronto.