Jocelyn Zhao, 6, daughter of Ming Jin of Canfield was out riding her bicycle like she normally does, with her safety helmet. Little did she know what was coming her way when she was spotted by a Canfield police officer.
The Canfield Police Department participates in the AAA Helmet Smart Program. The program involves police officers seeing a local child wearing a safety helmet when riding a bike. Jocelyn fell into that scenario when Officer Paul Laskey pulled her over and wrote her a “good” citation for being helmet smart. The citation was in the form of a coupon to either Subway or Cocca’s Pizza.
“We partner with the AAA and local vendors to promote bicycle safety with an emphasis on helmets,” said Officer Dean Vrancic. “When we see a child wearing a helmet, we stop and cite them with a free meal from one of our vendor-partners.”
Jocelyn enjoyed a Subway meal and had part of her citation-coupon sent in to the regional AAA for Northeast Ohio. That part of the coupon was entered into a drawing for a new bike.
The drawing, held by the AAA, covers the entire northeastern part of Ohio. From the pool of returned coupons, one is drawn and this year, Jocelyn's name was picked. She picked up the bike earlier this month and last Friday, she rode it to the police station and showed it off to Vrancic.
“I like my new bike,” she told Vrancic.
She demonstrated how well she could ride it and, of course, she was wearing her helmet.
Photos by J.T. Whitehouse, Town Crier
Ming Jin and her daughter Jocelyn Zhao, 6, pose with Canfield Police Officer Dean Vrancic along with her new bicycle she won through a program that recognizes children who ride safely.