There’s something different about the newest cruiser on the Boston Police Department – instead of parking tickets, it gives away free ice cream.
One officer on the BPD force said, “It’s about way more than ice cream. It’s about relationships and keeping kids safe. We want kids to like and look up to us. Operation Hoodsie Cup gives us the platform to share that message and make that connection.”
The police department announced the new $89,000 vehicle on their Facebook page, and got mostly positive responses, but a few people still criticized the gesture, saying handing out ice cream is not police work. Another said they should be walking the streets to rebuild relationships.
This one was the harshest: “I hope y’all are spending at least that much money to combat racism in your ranks, sensitivity training for how to deal with mentally ill people and overall stopping the b.s. that gets people murdered for no reason by cops around the country. A truck full of ice cream does not fix the problem that lies WITHIN policing. It won’t mask the taste of outrage at the murders.”
According to a press release on August 1 from the BPD News, the ice cream truck was purchased by the Boston Police Foundation, and the ice cream is all donated by HP Hood Company. ‘Operation Hoodsie Cup’ was created in 2010 and has handed out over 120,000 free Hoodsie Cups.
Commissioner William Evans said, “If you had told me 30 years ago that the Boston Police Department would have an ice cream truck as part of its patrol force and my officers would be handing out Hoodsie Cups … I would’ve said you were crazy. But, I absolutely love the new truck and everything this program represents. The goodwill it generates between my officers and our city’s young people is undeniable and nothing short of remarkable and my only regret is that I wish we had started doing this 30 years ago.”
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