Police issue 'pantry tickets' for minor traffic violations

2 years 11 months 2 weeks ago Monday, August 03 2015 Aug 3, 2015 Monday, August 03, 2015 4:25:47 PM CDT August 03, 2015 in News
By: The Associated Press

AFFTON (AP) - Drivers pulled over by police in the Affton area of St. Louis County for a minor traffic violation recently got a surprise: No ticket, but a suggestion to instead donate money to a food pantry or some other worthy cause.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the "pantry ticket" or "courtesy card" are issued only to drivers who would just get a warning anyway. Chief Jon Belmar says he wants to spread the initiative countywide to help improve relations between residents and police.

Last year's fatal shooting of Michael Brown by a now-former Ferguson police officer brought attention to the tension between police and the public. A Justice Department report criticized many St. Louis County municipalities whose finances depended heavily upon their law enforcement to produce traffic fine revenue.

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