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Ohio cops ticket helmet-wearing kids with ice cream coupons

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 Cycling children who are spotted by a police officer while wearing a helmet will be issued one free ice cream cone immediately in Brimfield, Ohio this summer. (iStock)Police in Ohio are on a blitz this summer to slap as many children as possible with tickets in an effort to keep local roads safe.

But unlike adults who dread the thought of traffic tickets, kids under 12 are setting out on their bicycles in hopes of scoring one.

You see, every ticket issued as part of the Brimfield Police Department's "Safe Summer" operation can be exchanged for a free ice cream cone at a local drive-in -- and the only way to get one is to be spotted by a police officer wearing a helmet while biking.

"Effective next week, my officers will have a quota for tickets....at least one per shift," wrote Police Chief David Oliver on the police department's Facebook page last week.

"We are going to be profiling, too. We will target a specific group, with the express purpose of writing as many tickets as possible. I am strongly encouraging my officers to write as many as they can, every shift, every day...  it is called operation Safe Summer."

Oliver goes on to explain that officers will be looking for children under the age of 12 wearing a helmet while biking. If caught, that child will be stopped and issued a ticket for a free ice cream cone at Franks Drive-In.

"This is the kind of ticket writing I REALLY enjoy," he concluded.

More than 12,000 people have "liked" the police chief's status update announcing the program - almost four times the population of Brimfield itself, which boasts 3,248 residents as of the latest U.S. Census.

The program officially kicked off June 3, but tickets are already being doled out in droves judging by the community response on Facebook.

"These two were issued citations!" wrote TK Schoney in the caption of a photo featuring two happy, helmet-clad kids on the police department's Facebook page.

Another woman, Sheila Andrews Catalano wrote "I saw one of the officers giving out tickets today. Everyone had a smile on their face!"

Theirs were two of several such posts.

Kelly Jones told FOX News in Cleveland that her son had been trying for one all week. "As soon as he heard about it, he came home from school, riding around with his helmet on, just waiting for somebody to pull him over."

Media attention is driving plenty of congratulatory messages in Brimfield's direction. Many are publicly wishing for the program to hit their own region, and they may be in luck.

A similar program has already been running successfully for more than a decade in Schenectady and Saratoga counties, New York, and Dickinson North Dakota has partnered with Dairy Queen on a similar initiative to launch later this summer.

How are bike safety and helmet regulations being rewarded and enforced where you live? What's been successful? What hasn't? Share your ideas and thoughts below.

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