Rick Poppitz
Special to The Gardner News
Two new programs intended to engage community youth were discussed at the April meeting of the Gardner Police Advisory Board.
Gardner police officers will soon be carrying a pad of tickets especially made for kids. When an officer observes a kid exhibiting some type of good behavior, they will be able to issue a ticket complimenting that behavior and awarding the child a free ice cream cone or soft drink. Two local businesses are donating materials in support.
The committee also approved a press release that outlines a new Youth Police Academy program. Youths must be at least 14 years of age to participate in this program.
The city already sponsors a Citizens Police Academy for adults 18 and over.  Participants attend a series of sessions where they learn about the structure and activities of the police department.
The new program will be similar but specifically designed for youth.
The Citizens Police Advisory Committee meets on the third Tuesday each month, usually in City Council Chambers; however, the committee found itself locked out of City Hall April 19, so the meeting went to plan B and took place at Groundhouse Coffee.