Nicholasville Police engage in the community with “Operation Copsicle”
NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. (WTVQ) – A local police department is engaging in the community in the most delicious way possible.
Nicholasville Police Chief Todd Justice was looking for a way to get his department more connected on the streets and in the community. A video from a Pennsylvania police department and an outdated military truck, previously requested by the Nicholasville Police but left unused, served as the inspiration. “Operation Copsicle,” a popsicle truck to be driven by police around Nicholasville, was born.
“I’d seen an idea of an agency in Pennsylvania that had done this same kind of thing, so I thought, ‘why not?’ We have the vehicle. We’ll just have to spend a little money to get it wrapped and to do the inside, so why not. So I came to our Community Service Division and said, ‘hey, I got an idea. It’s kind of crazy, but let’s try it,'” said Chief Justice.
Its mission? To get officers and the department to be seen in a different way by Nicholasville kids and their families.
“I think we need to come up with ways that build those relationships that make kids trust police. A lot of kids that we deal with today–the only interaction they’ve had with police is when we come to their house for something–and maybe arrested mom and dad for something. And so we want to turn that around and say ‘look, again, we’re good people. We’re here if you need us, but other than that, we’re just people just like you. We have families, we have kids, and we want to give back,” said Nicholasville Police Sergeant Kevin Grimes.
Designing the truck, which was originally bought for hostage negotiations from the Reutilization, Transfer, and Donation program through the Defense Logistics Agency, took a village. Nicholasville Police enlisted the help of a local man to create the truck’s design and a Lawrenceburg company to wrap the truck in bright colors. Police officers tiled the interior of the vehicle themselves.
“We have four brand-new recruits that just started Tuesday. Can you imagine your first assignment is to put tile on the inside of an ice cream truck at the police department? But those guys stepped up and tiled that whole inside,” said Sergeant Grimes.
Ty Hutchens, who created the truck’s design, says the entire design process took him about a week.
“I just really wanted to capture the kind of classic popsicle or ice cream truck kind of look. That way, it wasn’t just some random-colored vehicle coming down the road, it was something that you could very obviously tell that, you know, it was meant for ice cream and popsicles and stuff like that,” said Hutchens.
Friday, the truck made its debut at Heartland Academy, a daycare center in Nicholasville. The police department plans to take it out Saturday to the Nicholasville Walmart.