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DALLAS -- Kids in Seattle's Grays Harbor area may actually look forward to their next encounter with the police this summer thanks to a program developed by 7-Eleven stores that rewards positive behavior with a very cool treat.
Officers and deputies from the Aberdeen and Hoquiam Police Departments, as well as the Grays Harbor Sheriff's Office, will "ticket" youngsters whom they observe doing something helpful, deterring crime or participating in a positive activity in the community with Slurpee coupons. The program, known as Operation Chill, awards thousands of free Slurpee coupons during the summer and back-to-school months.
Since the program's inception in 1996, nearly 10 million Operation Chill coupons have been distributed to hundreds of law enforcement agencies across the country in the areas where 7-Eleven operates stores. This is the first summer police in Grays Harbor have used the Operation Chill program to reward youth for their good deeds.
Operation Chill was developed by 7-Eleven to positively reward and encourage good behavior by kids during the hot summer months, when there is often an increase in loitering, shoplifting and graffiti, and to support law enforcement agencies' community relations projects.
"7-Eleven is a leader in crime prevention, and we're very proud of the success of this program," said Ron Conlin, the chain's loss prevention manager. "Last year, a million free Slurpee coupons were distributed across the country through Operation Chill. That's a great deal of positive behavior."
"The coupons are great for officers who are on patrol in the community," added Jeff Mason, 7-Eleven market manager. "It's an icebreaker, a way to encourage dialogue in a non-threatening, non law-enforcement situation and it comes at a great time since our stores are celebrating our 25th Anniversary in the Grays Harbor area."
The first 7-Eleven store in the Grays Harbor area opened July 2, 1981.
Youngsters ticketed by the police will receive coupons good for a 12-ounce Slurpee that can be redeemed at participating stores. The semi-frozen carbonated beverage is a favorite with both young and old. More than a half- million Slurpee beverages are purchased each day during the summer at 7-Eleven stores across the country.
7-Eleven, Inc., based in Dallas, Texas, operates or franchises more than 5,800 7-Eleven stores in the United States and Canada and licenses more than 24,300 7-Eleven, Inc. stores in 17 countries and U.S. territories. During 2005, 7-Eleven, Inc. stores worldwide generated total sales of approximately $43 billion.