2 Burlington County police departments create initiative to connect with community

Two Burlington County police departments are hoping to improve their relationships with the community by getting to know the youngest citizens.

News 12 Staff

Jun 10, 2020, 1:03 AM

Updated 1,410 days ago

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Two Burlington County police departments are hoping to improve their relationships with the community by getting to know the youngest citizens.
The initiative was created by the Moorestown and Mount Laurel police departments. Starting on Saturday, when police see a child being safe, they will get a “ticket” of sorts.
“It can be anything from wearing a helmet when they’re riding a bike, to waiting for a parent to pick them up in a well-lit area, to wearing a seat belt in a car. They can receive a ‘free slices for safety’ ticket, which is redeemable for a free slice of pizza,” says Moorestown Police Detective Joel Mufalli.
Two restaurants are helping with the effort – Crust ‘N Fire in Mount Laurel and Carollos Little Italy in Moorestown. The campaign is to not only encourage safe behavior, but also a chance for the police departments to work on community policing.
“Most of the time the kids are only getting to meet their school resource officers and that’s not the officer that’s going to be responding to residence or where they are if there’s an emergency,” says Mount Laurel Officer Kyle Gardner.
Slices for Safety was originally scheduled for the spring, but was pushed back because of the pandemic. But the departments say that they need this initiative now more than ever due to recent events that have made the relationship between police and the public strained.
“We need them to obviously believe in us and we need them to feel safe with us…we want the kids in this town to understand that we’re here for them and if they need something they can reach out,” says Gardner.
The “tickets” will be given out starting on Saturday through mid-July. Both departments say that they have hundreds of them ready to go.
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