TPD Rays Rewards trades tickets for good deeds

- Few things can fire up kids like Raymond, the Tampa Bay Rays' mascot - but free Rays tickets will usually do the trick.

"I think once word gets out, when the police cars pull up, the kids will be running to them," said Tampa Police Chief Eric Ward.

The new program is appropriately named: Connect Protect Respect, CPR. 

The Rays donated more than a 1,000 tickets to the Tampa Police Department to hand out in the community.

But the tickets aren't free. They're earned.

"When they're driving through those neighborhoods and see kids or citizens doing a good deed, that's the time to stop and engage in that conversation," Chief Ward said.

"The greater the trust between the community and the police force the better that community is going to operate," said Rays President Brian Auld.

Wednesday at the Police Athletic League, five tickets were handed out to kids who were named PAL citizens of the month. For 8-year-old Kenya, this will be her first ticket to the Trop.

"I just stood up for myself and didn't let anyone take me down and did the right things," Golden said.  "I think it's very awesome because every day you don't know what's coming," she added.

Police call this just another way to reach the community and to build those positive relationships. 
A handful of other departments have similar programs, the Rays say anecdotally they appear to be doing well. 


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