NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Some neighborhoods in North Charleston could be seeing an increase in police patrols beginning Wednesday... but it's not what you may think.
The department has teamed up with Metanoia, a non-profit which aims to create community events that will make a difference.
Officers will be watching for kids doing positive things in the neighborhood.
It can include anything from picking up trash, to riding their bicycles with helmets.
"Positive Ticketing", as the campaign is being called, aims to bridge the gap between law enforcement and the community.
It's the first time it's being tried out here in the Lowcountry, and the results from across North America though, have been positive.
"Most cities do see some change and reductions in crime," Bill Stanfield, CEO of Metanoia, said.
The program is believed to have started in Canada. Stanfield says the Positive Ticketing, coupled with several other programs should hopefully bring the same results to North Charleston.
"We think this is going to be positive step in the right direction," Stanfield said.
"It's an opportunity for us to get in there and let them see a different side of us and show them that we are people, just like them," Lieutenant Tammy Sad, with the North Charleston Police Department, said. "We're good people, lets them know that, and lets them know there's more out there than just what's in their neighborhoods."
Right now the program is specific to the Chicora/Cherokee, Union Heights, and Accabee neighborhoods.
"Often times these neighborhoods are looked over," Lt. Sad, said. "So I think it's a wonderful opportunity. There are some really great kids who live there, so I'm thankful we can be there to help."
"We're kind of starting it as a pilot program, because of our limited resources," Stanfield said. "I think once the community gets behind it and sees the positive results, hopefully it can be expanded to other communities in the city and beyond that."
"I realize that it takes work," Tyheme Jenkins, who is excited for the program to start, said. "Now kids know that they can do the right thing and be able to follow the right crowds, and be somebody when they get older."
The idea is simple; if officers patrolling see kids doing a good thing, they hand out one of these positive tickets.
In exchange the kids will get vouchers for movie tickets, the water parks, restaurants, and more.
"I'll help my brothers, help ladies and stuff, like old ladies, and help them with their groceries and stuff," Reginald Grant, who wants to get hundreds of positive tickets, said.
"It encourages people to do the right thing, and to know that the police are protecting them, and that they're safe," Jenkins said.
The campaign kicks off Wednesday when students at Metanoia will join officers and pass out flyers to people in the three neighborhoods to explain what's going on.
The campaign will run from Wednesday until September when school starts back up.
For people who see kids doing good things out in these neighborhoods please call (843) 704-2831, or there will a link on the North Charleston website.
The money that supports this campaign is done through donations.
To help donate please contact Metanoia at (843) 529-3014.