Operation Chill: Free Slurpees Prove it’s Cool to Be Good
2013-07-11 · By Editor
Kids caught red-handed doing good deeds in the community may find themselves cold-handed as a result, holding a free Slurpee drink. Thousands of uniformed police officers across the country, including Long Beach’s finest, will hand out free Slurpee coupons this summer through Operation Chill, 7-Eleven stores’ popular community service program.
The award-winning program was introduced at 7-Eleven stores 18 years ago in Philadelphia before launching nationally the following the year. Since then, police officers have given away millions of Slurpee drinks to reward children and youth for “good behavior.”
“Uniformed police officers sometimes need a positive reason to interact with children and youth, and giving kids free Slurpee coupons for doing good is a great way to build a relationship,” said Mark Stinde, 7-Eleven’s vice president of asset protection. “Recognizing kids with a favorite summertime treat can reinforce good conduct, which might have a long-lasting impact.”
Through Operation Chill, Long Beach police officers can “ticket” youngsters who are caught in random acts of kindness, good deeds or positive community activities with free Slurpee coupons. Appropriate “offenses” might include helping another person, wearing a bicycle helmet while riding or skateboarding, deterring crime or participating in a police athletic league.
Operation Chill was developed by 7-Eleven to encourage kids’ good behavior during the hot summer months when communities may experience increases in loitering, shoplifting and graffiti. Law enforcement agencies’ also use the coupons to support other community relations projects.
According to Stinde, police departments begin contacting 7-Eleven early each year to sign up for the annual program.
“Operation Chill continues to be one of our most popular community relations programs ever,” Stinde said, “What kid doesn’t love a free Slurpee drink? And having a reason to approach youngsters in a non-authoritative role gives police officers an opportunity to make connections with the community’s youngest citizens.”
In addition to Long Beach Police Department, coupons are being distributed to participating law enforcement agencies in the greater Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, San Diego, Orlando, Tampa, Dallas, Denver and Las Vegas areas.