Trading Tickets for Toys in Forest City

FOREST CITY, Pa. -- This month, cops in Forest City may not be hitting drivers with tickets, but instead, asking for help to make this holiday a happy one for children in need.

Chief Jim Johnson keeps his eye on drivers in Forest City, looking for any issues that may require him to pull someone over -- a bad exhaust or a headlight out, or, in this case, a driver in need of new brake lights.

This time around and in most traffic stops over the next few weeks, Chief Johnson won't hand out a warning or a citation. It's all part of the Forest City "Cops For Kids" toy drive meant to make Christmas a little brighter for kids in need.

"These communities are not well to do. They live at the poverty line or below. We should all look out for each other," said the chief.

When officers spot someone driving with something wrong on their vehicle, that will turn into a chance to help kids who might not have many gifts this holiday season -- a much different experience being pulled over than usual.

"They didn't expect it. They absolutely did not expect the police to come up and say, 'Here, you can help a child,'" said Chief Johnson.

Over at D.G.'s Bar and Grill, it's the 16th year for the Toys for Kids drive, and organizers are grateful to have the department's help again.

"Chief Johnson here in town has this program that he'll give small tickets out, and they'll hopefully pay for it with a toy," said Debbie Giddings, D.G.'s Bar and Grill.

This is the second year for the Cops For Kids program in Forest City. Police officers are collecting unwrapped toys at the police department until December 21.

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