N.J. cops to give gift cards to kids wearing masks properly

The Summit Police Department is partnering with a local shopping association to promote mask-wearing among students, the police chief said

By Noah Cohen
NJ Advance Media Group, Edison, N.J.

SUMMIT, N.J. — Police in Summit will hand out gift cards to students who officers spot wearing masks as part of an effort to encourage local youth to follow coronavirus prevention guidelines, officials announced Tuesday.

The police department joined with Summit Downtown Inc to provide 100, five-dollar gift cards that officers will give to elementary, middle and high school-age students when officers find them wearing masks properly over the mouth and nose, the city said in a news release.

The Summit shopping district shows new signs of life as Coronavirus restrictions begin to be eased up.
The Summit shopping district shows new signs of life as Coronavirus restrictions begin to be eased up. (Photo/For NJ Advance Media/Steve Hockstein)

Dubbed the Wear a Mask program, the effort was set to begin Wednesday and will continue until officers distribute 100 gift cards. Officials said it could continue through the fall.

“Over the past six months, Summit citizens have done an excellent job of following health department guidelines, and the Police Department appreciates how difficult it has been for everyone,” Summit Police Chief Andrew Bartolotti said.

“With the recent increase in confirmed positive cases among young people, we are partnering with Summit Downtown to promote and reward proper mask-wearing among students. Officers look forward to handing out cards to help influence good behavior to help curb the spread of coronavirus in the Summit community,” the chief said in a statement.

There were 242 confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported in Summit as of Tuesday, according to city statistics. The Union County community of about 22,000 residents reported 17 deaths from the illness.

School officials last week announced a student at Lawton Johnson Summit Middle School tested positive for the virus and was isolating. A mounting number of districts across the state have seen students and staff infected at the start of the academic year.

©2020 NJ Advance Media Group, Edison, N.J.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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