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Monday, November 19 , 2018, 10:57 am | Fair with Haze 65º


Lompoc Police Issuing Tickets to Residents Caught in the Act — of Doing Good

Wild West Pizza owner Dave Goldy donates hundreds of vouchers for free pizzas to launch the new 'Positive Ticketing Program' to help boost community engagement

Dave Goldy, owner of Wild West Pizz in Lompoc, gave the Police Department “tickets” for a free personal pizza to cite residents for doing positive things.
Dave Goldy, owner of Wild West Pizz in Lompoc, gave the Police Department “tickets” for a free personal pizza to cite residents for doing positive things. (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)

Police are nabbing Lompoc residents in the act of doing something good — and issuing tickets that bring rewards not fines. 

Wild West Pizza & Grill owner Dave Goldy donated hundreds of vouchers for a free personal pizza with one topping to launch the Lompoc Police Department’s “Positive Ticketing Program.”

Police officers who see residents doing something good, such as youths wearing proper safety gear while skateboarding and bike-riding, are stopping them in the act and issuing a positive ticket. 

“When he contacted me, I thought this was great,” Lompoc Police Chief Pat Walsh said. “It’s good for the officers, too. There’s not a lot of goodwill in national discourse right now between police and communities.”

The job of a police officer can be filled with negativity, he noted.

“We’re not responding to happy things most of the time,” he added.

Walsh, who is in his first year leading the Lompoc agency, said he knew of similar programs at his former department where 7-Eleven coupons were given out.

His officers are happy to have positive tickets to present to residents, he said, adding the agency is being judicious in handing them out.

“This gives us an opportunity to just do something nice. It also gives us an opportunity for officers to have a nice pleasant conversation with somebody,” he said.

Additionally, the agency is keeping a ledger to track distribution of tickets to halt any rumors the freebies are going to the children of department staff, the chief said.

LPD positive
Lompoc Police Chief Pat Walsh holds citations that will be handed out to youths and adults doing positive things. The citations can be redeemed for a free personal pizza from Wild West Pizza. (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)

Since word of the program has spread, Goldy said the response from his customers and neighbors has been great.

“By giving back to the community we get it back, too,” Goldy said. “It’s a win-win all around.”

Wild West Pizza has been a big supporter of the River Bend Bike Park and asked officers to especially keep an eye out for cyclists doing their part to keep the site clean.

An article about the program appeared on conservative political commentator Glenn Beck’s website, and immediately drew criticism the program will lead to illegal stops.

But Goldy said he already talked to Lompoc police, who said the positive tickets will be handed over during casual contacts with community members and can’t be used as a guise to pull someone over.

“That’s why it’s focused more on children than adults,” Goldy said. 

He also has heard from representatives of Fox News Channel’s Neil Cavuto show wanting to talk about the Positive Ticketing Program.

Walsh said officers won’t hesitate to issue positive tickets to deserving adults encountered during regular interactions. 

The Positive Ticketing Program also fits one of the chief’s goals of boosting community engagement so residents know the Lompoc police cares about their town. 

“I’m still relatively new here and this is just such a giving town,” Walsh said. “I really like Lompoc. This is very typical of Lompoc.”

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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