COCOA, Fla. – Sometimes justice really does taste sweet.
Central Florida law enforcement agencies are building community trust and rewarding good behavior one Slurpee at a time this summer.
Ormond Beach and Cocoa Police are participating in the 22nd year of 7-Eleven's Operation Chill program. The initiative provides law enforcement officers with coupons for the frozen treats to give out to youths through the summer.
Almost 1,000 law enforcement agencies will participate in the program this year distributing 1.3 million Slurpee coupons. The agencies use the Slurpee coupons to build relationships by rewarding kids for constructive activities and acts of kindness.
"We are always looking for ways to help our officers build strong relationships in the community,” Ormond Beach police Captain Chris Roos said.
Officers will give out "tickets" for "offenses" like helping another person, or participating in a community event.
"The coupons are great for officers who are on patrol throughout the city,” Cocoa police Chief Mike Cantaloupe said. “It’s an icebreaker, a way to encourage dialogue in a non-threatening, non-law enforcement situation.”
"Year after year, Operation Chill is our most popular community service program,” said Mark Stinde, vice president of asset protection for 7-Eleven. “Kids love Slurpee drinks, and police officers love having a reason to approach kids and surprise them with a Slurpee coupon as a reward for doing something good."
More than 19 million coupons have been given out since 1995, according to 7-Eleven.