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Oak Park Public Safety gets ice cream truck for community outreach

“I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream,” in Oak Park where the city unveiled the newest member to the Public Safety Patrol Team on Monday.

Oak Park Public Safety Officers will deliver 300 ice cream sandwiches every week over the summer in the neighborhoods and at city events using their new ice cream truck.

“For many, a person’s first experience with law enforcement is the result of an emergency, a traffic stop, or a crime,” Oak Park Public Safety Director Steve Cooper said. “In Oak Park, we seize opportunities to build our relationship with community members so when, and if, they feel the need to turn to us for assistance they have an established comfort level built from trust and mutual support.”

The ice cream truck was made possible by donations from across the city. The truck was donated by the city’s Department of Public Works and received bodywork and repairs from Autobahn Collision. Prairie Farms is providing 300 ice cream sandwiches per week through the summer.

“The theory behind community outreach is that when connections are made, dialogue begins, and relationships develop,” Oak Park City Manager Erik Tungate said. “Through community engagement, the links between police and the community strengthen over time, ensuring the type of partnership that can pinpoint and mitigate threats to the safety of our community members and improve overall quality of life.”