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Police, store partner to reward youngsters


7-Eleven Credit: Barry Sloan

The Freeport Police Department has partnered with 7-Eleven in "Operation Chill" to reward youth who make a positive contribution in their community.

The program lets officers interact with youngsters outside of a law enforcement situation: The officers issue coupons for a free Slurpee to children seen doing good deeds, exhibiting positive behavior or abiding by municipal and quality-of-life laws.

These actions may include helping another person, wearing a bicycle helmet, participating in community activities and/or organizations, and observing traffic laws such as crossing the street legally. The "tickets" are also used to establish rapport with children during officer patrol beats.

Tickets are redeemable for a free Slurpee at any participating 7-Eleven.

"Ticketing children for performing good deeds with coupons for free Slurpee drinks is a great icebreaker for police and youths to interact," Freeport Police Chief Miguel Bermudez said.

Mayor Robert T. Kennedy said: "Operation Chill . . . will [help] reinforce the positive relationship with Freeport's youth and our police officers."

The Freeport Police Department is one of four smaller Long Island departments this year to join the county police departments in Nassau and Suffolk as participants. The others are in Glen Cove, Riverhead and Saltaire.

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