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Police to encourage Southwest Florida youth to 'chill' this summer

Posted at 1:16 PM, May 01, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-01 13:16:03-04

LEE COUNTY, Fla. -- This summer, police officers and deputies around Southwest Florida and nationwide will be dispensing well-deserved treats to good kids in an effort to encourage good behavior.

For the 23rd year, 7-Eleven is working with local police and sheriff’s departments to distribute free Slurpee drink coupons to children and youth through its popular Operation Chill community-service program. 

During 2018, 7-Eleven will issue up to 1.4 million Slurpee coupons to almost 1,100 law enforcement agencies, most during the summer months and back-to-school season. Big-city departments and small-town forces alike use the Slurpee coupons to enhance relationships with the young people in their cities by rewarding them for good deeds, constructive activities and acts of kindness.

Appropriate “offenses” might include helping another person, deterring crime or participating in a community- or police-sponsored event. Although the reasons for being “ticketed” are varied, the end result is the same for every youngster: a free Slurpee drink and a smile for being a good kid. Each coupon can be redeemed for a small Slurpee drink at participating 7-Eleven stores. 

Begun in Philadelphia to give law enforcement officers a positive reason to interact with children and teens, Operation Chill has expanded to cities across the country. Since the program’s inception in 1995, almost 21 million Operation Chill coupons have been distributed to hundreds of law enforcement agencies across the country in areas where 7-Eleven operates stores. 

"Officers are always looking for ways to have positive interactions with our citizens, especially the kids. Being able to reward good behavior and put a smile on a child's face (along with a cold Slurpee on a hot day) is definitely a highlight of an officer's shift," says Cpl. Phil Mullen of the Cape Coral Police Department.

Southwest Florida agencies participating in the program include:

  • Punta Gorda Police Department
  • Lee County Sheriff's Office
  • Cape Coral Police Department
  • Fort Myers Police Department
  • Collier County Sheriff's Office
  • Naples Police Department

For a full list of participating agencies across the United States, CLICK HERE.