Lake Charles Police Department Teams Up with Pops and Rockets to Launch New Program

Published 11:55 am Thursday, September 6, 2018

PRESS RELEASE — LAKE CHARLES, La. – The Lake Charles Police Department is teaming up with local merchant, Pops and Rockets, to launch a new positive reinforcement initiative called, “You’ve Been Caught…Being Safe.”

If officers observe a youth in the community acting in a positive or safe manner, they can now reward them with a card that can be exchanged for a free popsicle from Pops and Rockets.

Examples of behaviors officers are on the lookout for include, looking both ways before crossing the street, using crosswalks, wearing a helmet while riding a bicycle and being properly buckled up while traveling in a vehicle.

“We are excited to have this opportunity to reward positive, safe behavior,” said Lake Charles Police Department Senior Corporal Scott Dougherty. “In addition to rewarding youth for their actions, this program also provides us with a great opportunity to build stronger relationships between police officers and younger members of our community. These positive interactions at a young age can have lasting impacts reaching far into the future.”

Nick Villaume, owner of local ice cream shop, Pops and Rockets, approached the Lake Charles Police Department about starting the “You’ve Been Caught… Being Safe” initiative after seeing successful programs in other parts of the country. The cost of the free popsicle and the cards issued by the officers is being covered by Villaume and his business.

“We are committed to being a truly local business,” said Villaume. “We make all of our pops and ice cream in house using locally sourced ingredients and this program is just one more way we are hoping to give back to the community in an impactful, positive manner.”

This new partnership is an exciting step forward on many levels according to Lake Charles Mayor Nic Hunter.

“I am extremely proud of the work we’ve done over this past year to bring together private and public entities for meaningful partnerships. This new initiative is an exciting way to make a big impact on the youth of our community with a small gesture. Additionally, our officers are charged with many tough, potentially life-alternating tasks over the course of each shift, so we are always thrilled when we can offer them the opportunity and the means to create more positive interactions with members of our community.”