Behave, you’ll get a Slurpee or a sub |

Behave, you’ll get a Slurpee or a sub

by Jay Hamburger OF THE RECORD STAFF

Do a good deed, possibly get a free sub at Subway, courtesy of the restaurant chain and the Park City Police Department.

The Police Department has begun participating in a program in conjunction with Subway that rewards what officers determine to be good behavior. If an officer sees somebody doing a good thing, they might give the person a Subway card with enough points to get a free six-inch sub.

Phil Kirk, a Police Department captain who is assisting with the Subway program, says officers will give the cards to kids who are behaving well. Doing so, he says, forges bonds between the officers and the youths.

"We want to have a positive relationship with kids," Kirk says. "We want them to feel like we’re somebody they can trust and talk with."

He says the police want to illustrate to kids that encounters with officers can be positive. If kids only have bad times with police officers, Kirk says, they might avoid approaching them later on.

The police had 550 coupons to provide to the kids, and they started distributing them early in July. It is part of a campaign dubbed the ‘Playin’ Safe Citation.’ Kirk approached Subway about launching the program locally.

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The Subway cards, which were donated by the restaurant chain, are loaded with 50 points, which is enough for a six-inch sub or a kids meal. They can be used at any Subway restaurant in Utah. There are two Subways in the Park City area, on Bonanza Drive and at Kimball Junction.

Earlier in the month, Police Chief Wade Carpenter, Kirk and another police officer distributed some of them to kids enrolled in summer activities at McPolin Elementary School. They received them for participating in a safe activity that is sponsored by a school, Kirk says.

"We were almost idolized down there at the school today," Kirk says about the stop at McPolin.

The police will hand out the Subway cards to kids who are seen following rules. In a release announcing the program, the Police Department lists examples like:

wearing a helmet when riding a bicycle

wearing protective gear while skateboarding or rollerblading

crossing a street in a crosswalk or using a brightly colored flag, available at some crossings, to indicate to drivers they are in a crosswalk

The police have for years struggled to convince kids to wear the protective gear, and kids are frequently seen crossing streets outside of crosswalks.

The Police Department has long used various means to better its relationship with young people, with ongoing outreach and special programs like Shop with a Cop, a holiday event that teams officers with underprivileged kids for a shopping spree for gifts.

Meanwhile, officers are also continuing a similar program that provides coupons for free Slurpees at 7-Eleven. Earlier in July the Police Department had 5,000 coupons for Slurpees to distribute to kids behaving well.

The police have participated in the Slurpee campaign with 7-Eleven, which donates the coupons, longer than they have in the Subway program.

For more information, contact the Police Department at 615-5500.