For 20 years, U.S. police officers have been ticketing kids with Operation Chill FREE Slurpee drink coupons. Many of those kids are adults now, and may even have children of their own who are eligible to receive a frozen treat for good behavior, compliments of 7 –Eleven and the local law enforcement agency.
Started 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. Through Operation Chill, law enforcement officers from participating local police and sheriff’s departments can “ticket” youngsters caught in the act of doing good with Slurpee beverage coupons. Appropriate “offenses” might include helping another person, deterring crime or participating in a positive activity in the community. Each coupon can be redeemed for a small Slurpee drink at participating 7-Eleven stores.
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 in areas where 7-Eleven operates stores. During 2015, up to 1.25 million coupons will be issued nationally; 1900 of those will be distributed in Cathedral City, most during the summer months and back-to-school season. “The coupons are great for officers who are on patrol in the community”, says Sergeant Albert Ruiz “It’s an icebreaker, a way to encourage dialogue in a non-threatening, non law-enforcement situation.”
Operation Chill was developed by 7-Eleven, Inc. to positively reward and encourage good behavior by kids during the hot summer months, when communities may experience increases in loitering, shoplifting and graffiti, and to support law enforcement agencies’ community relations projects. Police use the Operation Chill program to reward youth for their good deeds as well as enhance their relations with the young people of their city. “I don’t know who likes the Operation Chill program more, police officers or kids,” said Mark Stinde, 7-Eieven vice president Asset Protection. “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.”