WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) - The Wichita Police Department is launching a community-driven program aimed at relationships between communities and law enforcement agencies.

Under the "Lights On!" program, officers on traffic stops can provide a voucher for a free repair on mechanical problems with the vehicle rather than citing the driver.

Some common mechanical violations include burned-out light bulbs, broken turn signals, etc. Wichita police have partnered with the following businesses for the program:

  • Auto Mech, 4615 E. 13th St. N. Wichita, KS 67208
  • G&L Garage, 2502 E. 13th St. N. Wichita, KS 67214
  • Nail’s Auto Service, Inc., 1402 N. Hillside Wichita, KS 67214

“The Lights On! program is a way to build relationships between police departments and the communities they serve,” said Don Samuels, CEO and Founder of Lights On!. “Instead of punishing drivers for broken lights, we can fix the mechanical issue and mitigate what often becomes a downward spiral for community members in need. We are giving officers a new tool on their duty belt that creates a positive interaction and improve community-police relations during these tense times.”

Wichita Police Chief Gordon Ramsay said the program gives officers a useful tool to engage with drivers and offer a helpful solution rather than a ticket or fine.

“We are excited to get this program up and running after working on it with many community partners over the last three years,” said Chief Ramsay. “For some families, a broken taillight or turn signal can sometimes mean choosing between a minor auto repair and buying groceries. A citation for these minor offenses can lead to further financial strain and will most likely lead to additional confrontations with law enforcement. This is a well-intended effort to help, versus hurt community members.”

The "Lights On!" initiative will launch in the 67214 zip code initially. The department hopes to expand the program citywide in the coming months. The Lights On! program is supported by community in-kind and financial donations. To learn more or donate, visit LightsOnUS.Org.

About Lights On!

Lights On! is a community-driven program which offers repair vouchers instead of traffic tickets for participating law enforcement agencies and communities they serve. The program was founded after the unnecessary death of Philando Castile in 2016 as a solution to a small problem that has a significant community impact. Officers can provide drivers with Lights On! vouchers redeemable for free repairs of broken lights at partnered auto shops. The vouchers reduce the financial burden that could lead to a potential downward spiral for community members in need as well as creates a positive interaction between drivers and officers, to rebuild trust. Lights On! was created by Don Samuels, founder of MicroGrants, a non-profit dedicated to providing people of potential with grants that spur economic stability by bridging the gap between their current state and a more successful future. For more information, visit LightsOnUS.org and follow Lights On! on Facebook and Twitter.