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DALLAS -- Nobody wants to receive a ticket from a police officer. However, 7-Eleven Inc. is making sure there is one exception to that rule.
For the 18th time, the convenience store chain will launch its Operation Chill community relations program this summer. As part of Operation Chill, 7-Eleven will hand out approximately 1 million coupons to law enforcement agencies nationwide. The coupons entitle the bearer to receive a free Slurpee.
Hence, more than 600 law enforcement agencies will "ticket" youngsters who are caught in random acts of kindness, good deeds or positive community activities with the free Slurpee coupons redeemable at participating 7-Eleven stores.
"Uniformed police officers can be intimidating to many kids," Mark Stinde, 7-Eleven's vice president of asset protection, said in a company news 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."
7-Eleven began Operation Chill in Philadelphia in 1995 and expanded the program nationwide shortly after. Since the program began, the c-store chain has distributed more than 11 million free Slurpee coupons.
"Every year, we use Operation Chill coupons at school bus stops because they are great at bridging the gap in communication with kids," said Sgt. Jerry A. MacDonald of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Dept.'s Convention Center Area Command. "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."
7-Eleven Inc. operates, franchises or licenses more than 9,200 North American convenience stores.