CALEXICO, Calif. – The Calexico Police Department has a new weapon to fight crime this summer – free Slurpees.
“Operation Chill is just to help out the youth here right now during the summer time, get a free Slurpee from 7-11,” Officer Marco Mardueno said.
Mardueno said they’re looking to reward kids for doing the right thing.
“Go out there talk to them,” Mardueno said.
Calexico Detective Armando Orozco said the operation started recently.
“And will continue on as long as we have the Slurpee vouchers,” Orozco said.
They have about 700 vouchers which Orozco said should last through the summer.
“Each officer has a booklet and as he contacts the juveniles and if he sees they’re walking across the street safely, they’re doing good things, he distributes them to the children,” Orozco said.
It also establishes a good relationship with the community, Orozco added.
“Obviously, if you get a ticket from an officer, it’s a negative contact, but if you get a free Slurpee, it’s something they’ll remember that they got a free Slurpee from an officer. It wasn’t a negative contact,” Orozco said.
Mardueno said it might help kids not be afraid of police.
“We should be like a big brother to them,” Mardueno said.
He said rewarding good behavior might also bring positive results down the road.
“Maybe in the future they might want to be a police officer. It’s good for the kids,” Mardueno said.