The Long Beach Police Department (LBPD) announced today its partnership with 7-Eleven on “Operation Chill,” a 7-Eleven stores’ community relations program designed to enhance relations with police and youth in the community.
According to the release, Operation Chill supplies officers with coupons to “ticket” youngsters "caught in the act" of doing good deeds or exhibiting positive behavior. The ticket serves as a coupon for a free Slurpee at any participating 7-Eleven store. Since the program’s inception in 1995, nearly 14 million Operation Chill coupons have been distributed to hundreds of law enforcement agencies across the country where 7-Eleven operates stores.
“We are grateful to 7-Eleven for offering programs like “Operation Chill” that give our officers the opportunity to interact with the kids in our community," said Long Beach Police Chief Robert Luna in a statement.
Operation Chill offers opportunities for officers to interface with youngsters in a non-law enforcement situation. Appropriate “offenses” could include helping another person, wearing a bicycle helmet, participating in community activities and/or organizations, and observing traffic laws such as crossing the street legally. Other opportunities include officers using the coupons as icebreakers to establish rapports with kids in their patrol beats.
Luna added that the coupons allow for positive interactions between kids and officers, noting that such opportunities are important for building and strengthening the trust of today's youth in the LBPD.
“I don’t know who likes the Operation Chill program more, police officers or kids,” said Mark Stinde, 7-Eleven vice president of Asset Protection, in a statement. “Police officers have told us they love having a positive reason to approach kids and surprise them with a Slurpee coupon, just for being good citizens.”
Though the reasons may vary for being "ticketed," everyone goes home happy, one 7-Eleven Slurpee later.