ST. CHARLES, Mo. – A new program announced Tuesday in St. Charles aims to help improve relationships between officers and the people they pull over. It’s called “Lights On!”
If you’re driving in St. Charles and get pulled over by police for having a headlight, taillight or turn signal that’s not working on your car, you won’t get a ticket. Police will give you a voucher instead to get the part replaced by a car mechanic.
“It starts that conversation to bringing down it from both sides from the motorist,” said Sherman Patterson, vice president of the Lights On! program. “Officers are people, too. They have families been a big have situations, and also we understand the community.”
St. Charles is the first police department in Missouri to sign on as a partner with the national organization called Lights On!, which now operates in 15 states.
The organization matches the police department’s funding for the vouchers. Another goal is to help people who can’t afford to replace their car safety lights.
“When we’re dealing with a community, we’re dealing with them when they are either having a very bad moment,” said St. Charles Police Chief Ray Juengst. “This gives us an opportunity to get that positive impact that positive conversation.”
Walmart has donated $2,500 to the St. Charles program and Lights On! is expected to match that amount. Other local businesses are also interested in getting involved.