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‘Operation Chill’ is back

As September arrives, a chill is in the air, but that’s not the only chill that has returned.

The Suffolk Sheriff’s Office is once again partnering with 7-Eleven for “Operation Chill.” This program encourages young citizens to be a good influence in their local communities as well as create a positive bond with law enforcement.

“Operation Chill usually is in June, but with COVID-19, 7-Eleven delayed it until today,” said Katie Jones, Suffolk Sheriff’s Office community engagement coordinator.

To kick off the operation’s start, the Sheriff’s Office gave out the coupons to 12 youth from ages 1 to 12 on the first day, Sept. 17, at the Godwin Courts Building.

While on their patrol through Suffolk, deputies will now be on the lookout for children doing good deeds. Once caught, the young people are “ticketed” with a coupon for a free 12-ounce Slurpee through the end of the year at any participating 7-Eleven. The tickets will be handed out inside the courthouse, around the community, and at outreach events.

“We are just on the lookout for any kind of good deed or a random act of kindness,” said Jones.

The good deeds are varied. It could be holding a door, picking up litter, wearing a bike helmet, or many other positive actions. The possibilities are endless.

This year celebrates the 25th anniversary of the “Operation Chill” program. The program has distributed 23 million Slurpee coupons to more than 1,100 local law enforcement agencies in the United States and Canada. The Suffolk Sheriff’s Office continues to seek opportunities to foster positive interactions between young people and law enforcement.

“The Sheriff’s Office wants to continue to be active in the community despite COVID,” said Jones. “For future community events, we are going to have to get creative and think outside the box.”