Double double, if you keep out of trouble: Mount Pearl rewarding good deeds with coffee

Instead of citations, police in Mount Pearl are handing out rewards for walking dogs on leashes and other good behaviours.

Mount Pearl officer hands out coffee coupons to people with dogs on leashes

Derek Hynes is a municipal police officer in Mount Pearl, handing out coupons in stead of citations to people who walk their dogs on leashes. (Sherry Vivian/CBC)

Getting pulled over by police might be the best part of your day in Mount Pearl this week, as an officer has been patrolling the trails with rewards for people obeying the law.

Derek Hynes is a municipal police officer, patrolling on an ATV and making sure people are on their best behaviour.

"I noticed a lot of people out walking their dogs on leashes, kids wearing their helmets and even people pushing their dirt bikes," Hynes said.

He doesn't have to give citations often, but thought it would be good to reward people with positive reinforcement for obeying the law.

"It'd be great if we could give something out for people doing great things."

Municipal officer Derek Hynes handed out vouchers for free coffee Monday for citizens following municipal rules in Mount Pearl 1:16

Hynes took the idea to his supervisor, who lent him full support. He also received a hand from Mount Pearl's community services department, which gave him coupons for free coffee.

Hynes gave out 25 coupons to people on the trail on both Thursday and Friday.

"It was a hit," he said. "People thought it was nice that they were getting a good thing for doing a good thing."

Loose dogs are one of the more prevalent problems on the trail, Hynes said. The hope is to dissuade pet owners from leaving their dogs off their leashes by rewarding the people who obey the rules.

Mount Pearl Mayor Randy Simms is enthusiastic about the concept.

"I just think it's a brilliant idea, and all congrats to them. I hope we're going to be able to keep it up for the rest of the summer."

Simms said the city has considered taking the approach with recycling, rewarding those who have helped the city boost its recycling numbers, rather than just ticket the ones who don't obey.

"It doesn't always have to be enforcement, enforcement, enforcement — sometimes it can be thank you very much," the mayor said.

Hynes will continue to give out coupons until they're gone. He says he has some other ideas in the works for afterwards.

With files from Carolyn Stokes