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Operation Copsicle debuts in Pittsfield

July 04, 2018 07:25 PM

PITTSFIELD -- After the big Fourth of July parade in Pittsfield, Operation Copsicle hit the streets for the crowd, thanks to community support.   Haddad Motors helped with the truck.

"It's been nothing short of amazing," said Officer Darren Derby.  "This has all been driven by the community.  One hundred percent!  We just totaled $55,000 with our last donation from Berkshire Bank and that's exciting."

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You have the right to remain frozen!

This is the result of months of work and planning: smiles and thank yous and little hands holding a cold treat on a hot summer day.
 
Police hope the small pops will yield big rewards.

"It's just another tool," said Officer Derby.  "I look at it as another tool to create a relationship, building trust in the community not just with the kids, but with the adults.  They can say, hey, you know what, the police really can have fun.  They're not serious all the time.  They realize there is something behind the badge, there's a heart, there's love, there's a connection to everybody.  We live in this community.  Our children grew up here, we grew up here."

Brothers Dylan and Jack Smith donated $1,200 to the cause.

"We raised money through raking lawns," said 14-year-old Dylan.

6-year-old Jack visited the truck in his police uniform.

Operation Copsicle had 2,500 ice pops to give out to families on day one.

"I think that's great," said Jessica Lahert of Pittsfield, who took her children to the parade.  "I think that's awesome, doing something in the community, getting the kids involved.  I think that's awesome."

Officer Derby heard about Boston and other departments having ice cream trucks and he thought, why not Pittsfield?

"It's a quick conversation," he said.  "As quick as thank you or hello and that really starts it, that starts the relationship, that starts the bond.  Especially between the youth and the officer or the volunteers that are all out here.  And I think that's important.  Your first interaction is not a call for service where there was a domestic or somebody's property got stolen.  This is a happy connection. And hopefully they remember that."

The truck will be available to all law enforcement in Berkshire County.

Credits

Kumi Tucker

Copyright 2018 WNYT-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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