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Officers swap tickets for toys

December 13, 2004|by DAVE McMILLION

charlestown@herald-mail.com

RANSON, W.Va. - For the second Christmas season in a row, Ranson Police are spreading cheer as they enforce the law.

During "Slow Down for the Holidays," Ranson Police are offering motorists the chance to have speeding tickets dismissed if they agree to buy a toy for a needy child.

Bicycles, games, clothing and other gifts have been accumulating at the Ranson Police Department on 13th Avenue, and on Dec. 23 and 24, police officers will go out into the community and distribute the gifts, Ranson Police Chief Bill Roper said.

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Like last year, the police department plans to work with officials at Ranson Elementary School to identify needy children, Roper said.

Needy children also will be identified through Shop with a Cop, a program sponsored by a local Fraternal Order of Police organization, Roper said.

Through Shop with a Cop, police take needy children to a local store and let them pick out Christmas presents. Ranson police will work with Shop with a Cop organizers to determine any other needy kids could be helped through Ranson's program, Roper said.

Last year, Ranson police delivered presents to about 60 area children through Slow Down for the Holidays, Roper said.

"It looks like we will exceed that this year," Roper said.

Although Sunday was the last day police officers could allow speeders to donate a gift in exchange for paying a fine, people can donate toys to the program through Dec. 19, Roper said.

Toys can be dropped off at the police department, Roper said.

Although Roper said he did not know Sunday how many speeding tickets have been written as part of Slow Down for the Holidays, he said the number of toys at the police department seems to be larger this year.

Besides speeding tickets, that could be attributed to a larger number of people donating toys, Roper said.

About 50 motorists participated in Slow Down for the Holidays last year.

Motorists participating in Slow Down for the Holidays are instructed that speeding tickets will be dismissed if the driver brings a new toy to the police department and shows a receipt as proof of the purchase.

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