updated - May 19, 2013 Sunday EDT
By Zanub Saeed
The 7-Eleven corporation will launch its Operation Chill community relations program this summer, where they will hand nearly one million "Free Slurpee" coupons to police officers around the country to hand to children who have been seen doing good deeds in their area.
This year, 7-Eleven will distribute the coupons to over 600 local law enforcement agencies across the United States as part of the initiative that began 17 years ago in Philadelphia, said a press release issued by 7-Eleven on Tuesday.
As part of Operation Chill, officers will give children "tickets" when they are seen doing good deeds in their neighborhood, as well as random acts of kindness and positive community activities, said the press release. The "tickets" will entitle the youngsters to receive one free Slurpee courtesy of the retailer.
"Uniformed police officers can be intimidating to many kids," Mark Stinde, 7-Eleven's vice president of asset protection, stated for the press release. "Recognizing good behavior helps build positive relationships between local law enforcement agencies and young people and encourages good behavior with a favorite summertime treat."
Law enforcement agencies in the cities of Los Angeles, San Diego, Orlando, Tamp, Dallas, Denver, and Las Vegas, listed the press release, will be participating in Operation Chill. Particular good "offences" that may be rewarded include helping others, wearing a bicycle helmet while riding a bike or skateboarding, stopping crime, or participating in a police athletic league, said the press release. A small Slurpee in the flavor of the child's choosing will be offered through the coupon.
"Every year, we use Operation Chill coupons at school bus stops because they are great at bridging the gap in communications with kids," Sgt. Jerry A. MacDonald of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Dept.'s Convention Center Area Command, was quoted as stating for the press release. "The coupons go a long way in turning around negative perceptions of policing and police officers and build relationships that help stop crime and improve the quality of life in the community."
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