The Polar Patrol, a new ice cream truck initiative by the Ocala Police Department, will start serving sweet treats around the city later today.
The Ocala Police Department will reveal Polar Patrol, its newest community policing vehicle, later today at the Ocala Police Headquarters, located at 402 S. Pine Avenue.
According to an OPD press release, the Polar Patrol program is aimed at building positive relationships in the community by enabling police officers to meet and engage with people while enjoying ice cream together.
“The Polar Patrol program is a new and innovative way we can serve our community,” says Chief of Ocala Police Department Mike Balken. Balken says he believes police officers visiting neighborhoods and handing out free ice cream will enable children and families to talk, listen, and build trust with police.
“I believe it will help break down barriers between police and our youth especially,” says Balken.
The Polar Patrol will take trips out into the community on a regular basis and will be operated by a uniformed police officer, according to the release. The program was made possible by multiple donations from local businesses and individuals. The van, design wrap, and ice cream were all donated for this program.
During Tuesday’s meeting of the Ocala City Council, Balken said that the truck would make its first trip on Thursday to Parkside Apartments