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Male volunteer holding donation box with old toys.
21 Nov2017

Police Asking for Gifts Instead of Money

A police department in Pennsylvania is issuing a new type of “ticket” during the holidays.  Expecting to receive a document detailing the charges and fines due, drivers were surprised to see that they were given a flyer asking for toys instead.


The St. Marys City Police Department began its Cops for Kids program last week. Officers are given discretion in handing out flyers instead of citations for minor traffic violations. Those flyers say, “In the spirit of the holidays, we are waiving the issuance of a citation, in hopes that you will drop off an unwrapped toy to our police department.”


People who choose to not drop off a toy are not punished.  The program is completely voluntary. An officer with the department said that it is a way to build community policing and that it’s a good way for everyone to give back to the community.


The police are quick to point out that everyone is invited to participate and donate a toy, not just those issued a “ticket” by the officers with the flyers.  They are happy to accept donations for Project Gifts for Elk County at any time. Any person who wants to donate to the project can drop off an unwrapped toy at the police department at 319 Erie Avenue in St. Marys.
If your last car stop resulted in an actual traffic violation charge, not a request to make a voluntary donation, you may be considering fighting your traffic ticket. Call our team of traffic ticket attorneys if you’ve been charged with a New York traffic violation.  We can discuss your options and help you fight if you choose to do so.