Truly effective law enforcement in the 21st century must be based on strong ties between communities and their police departments.
Community policing begins with tapping our most precious resource – our youth. Unfortunately, many children lack positive role models and self-esteem and they are unable to direct themselves down a positive path in life.
A program adopted by the Punta Gorda Police Department in 1995, dubbed “Do the Right Thing,” is working to instill positive attitudes and self-esteem in local youth by publicly recognizing them for their achievements, whether their accomplishments involve academics, athletics, community service, conservation, or any other effort where a child is trying his or her best to “do the right thing”.
Every month, five local Charlotte County children are selected from a pool of nominees for their outstanding efforts. The children may attend any school in Charlotte County. The top winner is awarded a $50.00 certificate, a trophy, and various other prizes donated by local businesses. Four runners up each receive trophies, certificates and a "Do the Right Thing" T-shirt. Reinforcing the belief that every nominee is a winner, all students nominated for the award receive a certificate of recognition from the Chief of Police.