Cairo police try to improve public relations with lottery tickets

For those obeying traffic laws in Cairo, they could win big with the traffic tickets they're giving people (Source: Taylor Clark)

CAIRO, IL (KFVS) - If you’re headed through Cairo this week, you’ll want to be sure that you’re obeying all the traffic laws. They’re giving out a lot of tickets, but probably not the kind you’re thinking of.

They’re giving people lottery tickets when they see them following traffic laws, according to Chief of Police Len Harris.

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Cairo, IL police hand out lottery tickets

He acknowledges that the city has a bit of a bad reputation for traffic enforcement. He said the idea behind doing this is to improve the department’s relationship with the people who they serve.

“When you develop those kind of relationships, then the trust is definitely increased,” he said, “because the citizens feel as though they know the officers or we have a personal relationship. Which is what we want.”

So far, he said they’ve given out about 60 tickets, and will continue until they’re all gone. Harris said all the money for the lottery tickets came from donations from the officers in the department and other city employees.

Harris said even though this idea has a sense of humor to it, they aren’t messing with the people they stop. He said they don’t want to violate any rights or stress anyone out while they do this. He said some people have gotten a little nervous about it.

“And that’s a normal reaction,” he said, “most people feel you know, ‘police stopped me. What have I done wrong?’ you automatically get nervous, but that’s what we’re trying to stop.”

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