But Kids Want Vodka and Marihuana…

In response to a Blog that wanted to know what to do with kids that wanted vodka and marihuana – and not a positive ticket…


To explain the success the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) had with the City of Richmond, British Columbia, Canada (Canada’s 3 rd largest RCMP Detachment) from 2001 to current, it is going to take several replies to explain our journey. First we started with a 5 year strategic plan that had 5 Wildly Important Goals – one of these being Youth. Our Youth policing plan was based on 6 pillars (1) enforcement (2) investigation (3) intervention (4) education (5) communication and (6) prevention. This type of holistic approach is what we call “comprehensive policing”. One of the secrets to our success was that we applied equal energy, resources and money to all 6 streams simultaneously. At the same time, we engaged the community in adopting the 40 developmental assets ( www.search-institute.org ) as our overall youth philosophy. Asset building is structured around the positive and strengths of young people – not their faults and weaknesses.

We had a host of youth initiatives in play at any given time – including Positive Tickets. At the peak of executing our youth policing plan – we were giving out over 40,000 positive tickets a year (year after year) to our young people. This was a 3 to 1 ratio as compared to negative tickets. And yes… we had kids that wanted vodka and marihuana. In these cases, the ticket was the icebreaker and the gateway to develop the relationship to attempt to understand the underlying root issues to the problems our kids were facing. In those enforcement cases where we caught kids with drugs or booze, we sent them to our Restorative Justice program that had an average of a 95% success rate that the youth would NEVER reoffend or come into the sights of the criminal justice system again.

There is a website that explains the positive ticket movement http://www.PositiveTickets.com Positive Tickets is built on the Asset Building philosophy. Over 500.000 positive tickets have been given out to date. Even if just one percent of these tickets enhance a relationship for the positive with a young people – that is over 5000 kids. We see it this way “the ticket is the gateway to the relationship – and it is all about the relationship”.

More to follow…ward

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