Grade eight students from St. Michael Catholic High School gathered at the Mac’s in downtown Kemptville to help launch the OPP’s Operation Freeze initiative last Thursday morning.
Operation Freeze is a province-wide campaign where OPP officers give “tickets” to young people seen doing good deeds, that can be redeemed at any Mac’s or Circle K store for ice cold frosters over the Summer.
“It’s really important to promote random acts of kindness and safety,” said Constable Maureen O’Grady, who travelled to Kemptville from the OPP head office in Orillia to take part in the launch. “It’s a great way to connect [with youth].”
Tickets will be given out throughout the Summer for actions like holding doors open, picking up garbage, and helping young children cross the street. The Operation Freeze program is meant to make a positive connection between the youth in communities in Ontario, local business, and the OPP. “Youth engagement is very important,” says Sergeant Avery Basset, who also came down from Orillia for the event. The cost of the tickets, as well as the frosters, are donated by Mac’s/Circle K.
Operation Freeze has been running since 2010, and OPP officers have given out over 300,000 tickets over the years. In the Winter, they run a similar program called Operation Heat, where the tickets are redeemable for hot chocolate, also at Mac’s and Circle K stores.
“This is a very positive initiative,” said Chair of the Police Services Board, Don Sherrit, at the launch. “We have to support our community and keep it safe and clean.”
The students from St. Mike’s all got frosters for being the youth representatives at the launch. One student said he had already received a ticket during a previous season for wearing his helmet while biking. “We have an awesome group of young people,” says local OPP Officer, Constable Cathy Lindsey. “They deserve a round of applause.”