Wednesday, July 6, 2011 at 2:31 p.m.
Piss a cop off and they'll give you a ticket, but please 'em, and they'll give you a Slurpee.
Together with 7-Eleven, the Irvine Police Department has reinstated "Operation Chill." Under the program, which began nationally in 1996 and is funded entirely by 7-Eleven, officers "ticket" kids who they catch behaving well with Slurpee coupons.
Lieutenant Julia Engen, a spokeswoman for the Irvine Police Department, says the department has participated in the program for the past few years, adding that traffic officers hand out a majority of the coupons.
Kids can get coupons for wearing a helmet, stopping at a crosswalk and even for being active and playing in the park, Engen says. "Basically, doing good, normal kid stuff."
The program is also intended to give kids a bit of face time with the cops and the cops a chance to save face with the kids. It's a bit of a reputation booster, if you will.
"Sometimes the first time their mom or dad is pulled over is the first time they see us. The idea is to let them know that that's not the only thing we're there for," Engen says.
Although many of the one million Slurpees that will be awarded nationwide this year will acknowledge small feats, some might go to kiddie heros like Max de la Rosa
. The Orange County Register reported
that the local boy, who was nine at the time, was awarded a year's supply of Slurpees in 2009 for saving a drowning infant.