Here’s a Slurpee, kid |

Here’s a Slurpee, kid

The youths were probably surprised when the police officer approached them on Friday.

Public police logs do not provide details about the circumstances of the encounter, reported on the 1700 block of Three Kings Drive. But once the police left, the two had coupons for free Slurpees.

The Park City Police Department, in an effort to promote good will between officers and youngsters, has started handing out the Slurpee coupons. The coupons are part of a long-running program by the convenience-store chain that the Police Department has tapped this year.

Phil Kirk, a Police Department captain, says 7-Eleven donated 500 coupons for 12-ounce Slurpees, part of what 7-Eleven has dubbed ‘Operation Chill.’ The Police Department distributed the coupons to officers, who give them out at their discretion. Kirk says the Slurpee coupons are meant as a reward for youths seen acting responsibly. The department also says youths who correctly answer safety-related questions could receive them.

"We thought it would be a good idea to complement what we’re trying to do," Kirk says, describing the Police Department’s efforts to build relationships between officers and youths.

He says the youths might receive Slurpee coupons for a variety of reasons, such as crossing streets properly with traffic lights or wearing helmets while they are riding a bicycle or a skateboard. Kirk says youths up to teenagers could receive a coupon for the popular icy drink.

Police officers handed out at least five of the coupons last week. The three others were given earlier on Friday, but the public police logs do not provide details about them.

"This is an opportunity for them to spend some positive interaction time with our youth," Kirk says.

He understands 7-Eleven will provide additional coupons if the first 500 are handed out.

According to 7-Eleven, several hundred law-enforcement agencies in the U.S. and Canada participate, and the convenience store says more than 10 million coupons have been provided to officers in the two countries.

Park City police officers have not participated in at least six or seven years, the department says.

The Police Department has tried for years to work more closely with youths, and Kirk says officers and youths especially see each other at City Park, the skateboard park and at school crossings when classes are in session.

The Slurpee coupons, he says, could have a "long-lasting effect" on relationships between the police and the youths.

"I think it’s more than just the reward of a Slurpee," Kirk says.

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