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Macs stores help OPP put the “Heat” on youth

Macs Convenience Store manager Jim Coffey and Prince Edward OPP Constable Kim Guthrie cheer the new Operation Heat positive ticketing program that sees OPP officers reward children and teens for good behaviour by "ticketing" them with a coupon for a hot chocolate at Mac's. Sue Capon photo

Macs Convenience Stores across the province are joining forces with the OPP to put the “Heat” on youth.
Operation Heat was launched in Prince Edward County this morning. The “positive ticketing” program will see County officers reward children and teenagers for positive behaviour such as good deeds, community service or practising personal safety – such as wearing a bicycle helmet. Though not their target audience, officers may reward some adults for good behaviour – such as drivers who pull over to the side of the road to use their cell phone.
Prince Edward OPP Constable Kim Guthrie notes Operation Heat is based on last summer’s highly successful Operation Freeze where OPP officers who observe local youth doing random acts of kindness or exhibiting positive behavior will be able to recognize that young person with a “ticket” which is actually a coupon valid for a free hot chocolate beverage valid at all participating Mac’s stores in Ontario throughout the winter of 2011.
“It has been determined that the more assets a youth possesses, the more successful he/she will be in school, the healthier they will be, and the greater the likelihood that they will contribute to their community,”  Guthrie said. “Alternatively, they will be less likely to be involved in risky behaviours such as alcohol, drugs, violence, and criminal activities.”
She notes that addition to recognizing good behaviour, Operation Heat 2011 promotes opportunities for OPP officers to interact with youth in a positive manner. Officers may use the coupons to recognize youth for doing good deeds, participating in community activities, picking up trash, pro-actively deterring crime or observing safe-street crossing rules. Officers can also make use of the coupons as literal “icebreakers” to establish a dialogue with children and teens in their patrol area.
Mac’s has provided 30,000 Operation Heat coupons to OPP Detachments in the eastern region. The County’s three Mac’s Convenience Stores are participating.

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