The cops are hitting the streets to sweeten their rep with free ice cream.
“I think it’s adorable. You can’t go wrong with free ice cream,” said Keri Lydon, 38, of Roslindale, who picked up a cup for her child at the playground yesterday.
To get the scoop, the Herald accompanied four officers and a youth coordinator yesterday in an ice cream truck in blue BPD colors, as they handed out 468 cups of chocolate and vanilla ice cream in Roslindale and Roxbury.
The effort is known around headquarters as Operation Hoodsie, named for the chocolate and vanilla “Hoodsie” cups, the kind usually seen at kids’ birthday parties. The goal is to build relationships and trust between local officers and the community.
“We have plenty of policemen out fighting crime,” Sgt. Robert Mulvey said. “This is just to spread goodwill.”
The idea was cooked up by ad agency Hill Holliday, which also is responsible for the text-a-tip program. The truck and the ice cream were donated by Chelsea-based HP Hood.
Yesterday, the truck, which will visit each district in the city, hit mostly playgrounds and community centers, catering to kids (and the occasional parent) who came running at the truck with screams of glee.
At Fallon Field, where teenagers were playing basketball, the cops expected a more skeptical audience.
“Now this will be interesting,” said Capt. Jim Hasson. “Let’s see how many of them come up and get it.”
“Don’t you find it ironic that they’re called Hoodsies?” said Erick Germain, 20 – joking to his friends about hoods in the ’hood – as he headed to the window to get his share.
But the visit paid off. One man told police he had been present at a nearby store robbery. Others were won over by the chilly treats.
“I was like, what is this, make us not hate the police? This is a new tactic,” said Mustafa Osman, 17, licking his wooden spoon. “Whatever. It’s free ice cream”