Mesa kids rejoice! "Operation Chill" is back!

That means thousands of good kids in Mesa may be lucky enough to receive a well-deserved "Slurpee justice" from local law enforcement officers this summer.

For the 23rd year, 7-Eleven is working with local police and sheriff's departments to distribute free Slurpee coupons to children through its popular Operation Chill program.

7-Eleven will issue up to 1.4 million Slurpee coupons to nearly 1,100 law enforcement agencies in Mesa during the summer months and back-to-school season.

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Officers on patrol can use these coupons as a tool to break the ice and encourage dialogue in a non-threatening, non-law enforcement situation with kids.

Operation Chill makes it easy for law enforcement to build strong relationships with the community and interact with kids in a positive way.

"Year after year, Operation Chill is our most popular community service program," said Mark Stinde, vice president of asset protection for 7-Eleven. "Kids love Slurpee drinks, and police officers love having a reason to approach kids and surprise them with a Slurpee coupon as a reward for doing something good. And we, at 7-Eleven, love helping them make those important connections in the community."

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There are special criteria for kids to earn these coupons, however. Kids in Mesa will be rewarded for good deeds, constructive activities and acts of kindness.

Appropriate acts include helping another person, deterring crime or participating in a community or police-sponsored event.

Each coupon can be redeemed for a small Slurpee drink at participating 7-Eleven stores.

Operation Chill started in Philadelphia to give law enforcement officers a positive reason to interact with children and teens. Since the inception in 1995, the program has expanded to cities across the country.

Almost 21 million coupons have been distributed to hundreds of law enforcement agencies across the country in areas where 7-Eleven operates.

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