Officers in Boston bought an $89,000 truck to distribute free ice cream to their community, and in Halifax, VA, cops are giving out cones instead of tickets.

Boston Police Ice Cream Truck
Credit: © City of Boston

In an effort to strengthen ties to its community, the Boston Police Department recently purchased an $89,000 ice cream truck and stocked it with donated ice cream from local dairy company HP Hood. The truck is the latest addition to the city's police force's "Operation Hoodsie Cup," a six-year strong program that seeks to build trust between children, families, and police officers in communities all around the city.

"It's about way more than ice cream," one officer involved in the program said in a statement posted to the BPD's Facebook page. "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 new truck was purchased by the Boston Police Foundation and made its debut at BPD headquarters on Monday. Since launching Operation Hoodsie Cup in 2010, the force has distributed approximately 120,000 free cups of ice cream.

Boston Police aren't the only cops using this tactic: In Halifax, VA, this week, two traffic officers were pulling people over and handing out ice cream cones instead of tickets. "It's actually against the law to drive on a hot day without an ice cream cone," Officer Brian Warner says in a video that's gone viral in the last 24 hours. "So on behalf of the Halifax Police Department, we're just making sure everybody is following all the laws today and are driving with ice cream cones."