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Springfield, Mo. ~ Springfield, Mo. - In an effort to promote community-driven solutions and improve interactions between law enforcement and citizens, the Springfield Police Department has partnered with Lights On! to launch a new program that replaces tickets with no-cost repair vouchers.

The program, which will be implemented this spring, was first discussed with the Chief's Citizen Advisory Group and received unanimous support. "We are proud to adopt this program," said Chief Paul Williams. "For some families, a broken taillight or headlight can mean choosing between a minor auto repair and buying groceries. This initiative gives officers a useful tool to engage with drivers and offer a helpful solution, rather than a ticket or fine."

Under the Lights On! program, when a Springfield police officer conducts a routine traffic stop involving a mechanical violation such as a burned out light bulb or broken turn signal, instead of issuing a ticket, they can provide the driver with a voucher for free repair at a participating local auto repair shop.

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The idea behind the program is to address minor offenses that can lead to financial strain for individuals and families. By providing them with the means to fix the issue rather than punishing them with fines or citations, it aims to prevent further financial struggles and potential negative interactions with law enforcement.

John M. Harrington, CEO of Lights On!, praised the simplicity and effectiveness of the program. "As a former Police Chief and MN Commissioner of Public Safety, I have seen firsthand how this initiative can make a positive impact in communities," he said. "By fixing mechanical issues instead of punishing drivers for them, we can mitigate what often becomes a downward spiral for community members in need."

Lights On! has already partnered with 175 law enforcement agencies across 21 states and has redeemed over 10,000 vouchers since its launch in 2022. This translates to 10,000 restorative interactions between officers and community members and 10,000 safer cars on the road.

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Local auto service providers who are interested in participating in the program can sign up to be a Lights On! service location at LightsOnUS.Org/auto-shops. The program is supported by its parent organization, MicroGrants, and through community donations. The Springfield NAACP has already kicked off local fundraising efforts with a generous donation of $2,500.

NAACP President Kai Sutton expressed their support for the program, stating, "The NAACP is proud to support this effort to facilitate a more positive, restorative interaction between our Springfield police officers and the community."

Community members and businesses who are interested in supporting the Lights On! program in Springfield can learn more and donate at LightsOnUS.org. With the support of the community and local businesses, this innovative program has the potential to make a significant impact on improving relationships between law enforcement and citizens in Springfield.

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