Maumee Police give kids tickets for wearing helmets - Toledo News Now, Breaking News, Weather, Sports, Toledo

Maumee Police give kids tickets

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MAUMEE, OH (Toledo News Now) -

Police officers in Maumee are now handing out tickets to kids – but they don't have to pay a fine.

They're tickets to get free ice cream. All the kids have to do to get one is wear a helmet when they're riding their bike or skateboard.

"If you wear your helmet while riding your bike or roller blades, the Maumee cops will pass out coupons for children to get a dollar cone or a dollar off ice cream," explained Kelly Harriagan, whose son Ryan received such a coupon.

The program started 17 years ago. The tickets are helmet safety awards used to encourage kids to ride and roll safely.

"I think they know if the police go by, they're going to get a coupon and they get to go to Penguin and use it," said Sherry Kersetter, owner of the Penguin Palace.

Penguin Palace is one of six ice cream parlors where the coupons are valid. Kersetter says she gets 10-15 tickets a week throughout the summer.

"They can really be hurt, so it's non-negotiable, they have to do it," she said. "I'm for anything that encourages them to [wear a helmet]."

The program is sponsored by Judge Gary Buyers and others in the Maumee Municipal Court district. They hope it will encourage kids to ride safe and build a relationship with officers.

"Kids sometimes get an image of us just arresting people," said Sgt. TJ Stratton. "But now they get to see a little softer side, and get that ice cream cone from us."

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