The Ocala Police Department recently unveiled an ice cream truck as their latest community policing vehicle outside their department headquarters to a group of excited kids.
The truck, called the “Polar Patrol,” is part of an initiative to build positive relationships with the community and kids.
Police Chief Mike Balken explained the truck’s purpose in an announcement.
“When police officers visit neighborhoods and hand out free ice cream to kids and families, we’re going to get to know each other,” Balken said. “We’ll be able to talk, listen, and build trust. I believe it will help break down barriers between police and our youth especially.”
Balken credited the idea to a retired Marion County school principal, Scott Hackmyer.
“I want the community to see the police as a friend, and not as an enemy,” Hackmyer said.
The department said that the Polar Patrol will go out into the community on a regular basis and will be operated by a uniformed officer. Balken said they will aim for three days a week.
According to a Facebook post from the department, the vehicle, its design wrap, and the ice cream, were all donated to the department by multiple sponsors.
The blue truck features an arctic penguin with a police hat holding popsicles, and plays traditional ice cream truck jingles.