Photo via Springfield Police Department

Photo via Springfield Police Department

The Springfield (Mo.) Police Department has added an ice cream truck to its fleet. The “Cold Patrol” will be used to serve frozen treats and connect to and engage with citizens, especially children, as part of department’s community policing philosophy, according to a news release. 

It is modeled after similar projects launched by police departments in St. Louis and Boston.

The Springfield Police Foundation awarded a truck to the department which, fully outfitted, is valued at $16,500. The Walmart Foundation donated $10,000 directly toward the purchase of the truck, which was purchased locally at Wheeler Auto. Wheeler Auto outfitted the box truck with the equipment needed to convert it to a working ice cream truck as an in-kind donation to the Foundation and the Police Department. Hiland Dairy has committed to providing up to $2,000 worth of ice cream for the officers to “serve” annually.

“We are grateful to the Springfield Police Foundation and the generous donors who are making this all possible,” said Police Chief Paul Williams. “This fun and unique tool will give our officers the opportunity to interact with people, especially kids, without the chaos of a crisis that usually draws a police presence.”

The Cold Patrol will visit neighborhoods unannounced.