Q: I don't have the cash to fix my broken headlight and I heard about a program in Hastings were police are providing vouchers in-place of tickets for lights that are out, does Red Wing also participate?

A: Yes. The Red Wing Police Department will be participating in a microgrant Lights On! The program provides local law enforcement officers with vouchers for the repair of headlights or taillights. The person stopped by law enforcement for having a taillight or headlight out will receive a voucher from the officer, the person then takes the voucher to a participating auto repair shop to have the light repaired. The shop owner then sends the voucher into the Lights On! located in Minneapolis for reimbursement of their cost to repair the light.

About Lights On!

This started as a simple idea with the power to make a significant impact.

It’s a common scenario: An officer pulls over a vehicle with a burned-out bulb except, now, instead of a ticket or warning, the officer hands the driver a Lights On! voucher for free light repair. The drivers can then redeem those vouchers for free repairs at any participating auto service provider.

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A broken taillight or turn signal can sometimes mean choosing between a minor auto repair or buying groceries for the family. It can also spark a downward economic spiral that for some yields multiple tickets, confrontations with law enforcement, and even vehicle impoundment. The Lights On! program has the potential to disrupt the downward spiral and build goodwill between police departments and the communities they serve.

Due to instances of police brutality, many communities fear and distrust the officers who are intended to serve and protect them. The Lights On! program strives to heal and transform police-community relationships. When participating officers pull over a driver for a burnt-out bulb, they can move with more confidence and hope to know that they have a tool, a Lights On! voucher, to make this interaction restorative.

The Red Wing Police Department is excited to participate in this program and enhance our community policing options. Working with citizens to keep our community safe and improve the quality of life for every member of our community are two important goals for RWPD and Lights On! is another program that helps us do this!

RWPD expect our vouchers to arrive in the next couple of weeks. In the meantime, we encourage auto shops to check out the Lights On website at www.lightsonus.org and consider participating.

Reference

1. Lights On, Microgrants, located online at www.lightsonus.org.

“Ask The Chief” allows readers access to useful information about law enforcement issues in Red Wing. This communication tool has been developed to enhance community policing efforts by providing residents and visitors with the opportunity to ask questions about local laws, programs and the department in general.

Submit your question to askthe.policechief@ci.red-wing.mn.us.

Generally one answer a week is posted RWPD social media sites and printed in the Red Wing Republican Eagle.