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IRVING, Texas — This summer, thousands of local law enforcement officers will dispense Slurpee justice to kids throughout the United States as part of 7-Eleven's Operation Chill.
For the 22nd year, the convenience store chain is working with police and sheriff's departments to distribute free Slurpee drink coupons to children and youth through the community service program.
This year, 7-Eleven expects to issue up to 1.33 million Slurpee coupons to nearly 1,000 law enforcement agencies, which will then distribute most of the coupons during the summer months and back-to-school season.
"The Suffolk County Police Department's partnership with 7‑Eleven's Operation Chill program is a unique way for our officers to engage with the youth in our county," said Timothy D. Sini, police commissioner for Suffolk County, New York. "Interacting with our community's children in positive ways is an important element of what our officers do daily. We appreciative 7‑Eleven's commitment to providing an additional way for officers to make a positive impact and look forward to our eighth year 'ticketing' young children and teens when caught doing acts of kindness."
Both big-city departments and small-town forces use the Slurpee coupons to enhance relationships with the young people of their cities by rewarding them for good deeds, constructive activities and acts of kindness, 7-Eleven said. This can include helping another person, deterring crime or participating in a community- or police-sponsored event. Each coupon can be redeemed for a small Slurpee at participating 7-Eleven stores.
Operation Chill first launched in Philadelphia to give law enforcement officers a positive reason to interact with children and teens. Since then, it has expanded to cities across the U.S. Since 1995, more than 19 million Operation Chill coupons have been distributed to hundreds of law enforcement agencies across the country in areas where 7‑Eleven operates stores.
"Year after year, Operation Chill is our most popular community service program," said Mark Stinde, vice president of asset protection for 7‑Eleven. "Kids love Slurpee drinks, and police officers love having a reason to approach kids and surprise them with a Slurpee coupon as a reward for doing something good. And we, at 7‑Eleven, love helping them make those important connections in the community."
Based in Irving, 7-Eleven operates, franchises or licenses more than 62,000 stores in 17 countries, including 10,900 in North America.