NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. (LEX 18) — When the ice cream truck arrives, it usually doesn’t sound or look like this.
But this isn’t any ice cream truck, and these aren’t your average drivers.
In fact, the next time you see Nicholasville police officers, they hope it’s when they’re rolling up in their brand new “copsicle” truck.
According to Sgt. Kevin Grimes, the department received the truck two years ago from the military program. While they initially had other plans for the truck, COVID-19 put a hold on any updates. The vehicle ended up sitting idle in their parking lot, until a few weeks ago.
“I came to our Community Services Division, and said, ‘Hey, I’ve got an idea. It’s kind of crazy. But let’s try it,’” said Chief of Police Todd Justice. He was inspired by a YouTube video he saw featuring a police department in Pennsylvania with an ice cream truck.
“Immediately we kind of laughed,” Sgt. Grimes said. “Then we said, ‘Okay, let’s look at this.’”
Officers transformed the truck into something unique. Inside, freezers hold hundreds of popsicles, while black and white tiles complete the old-school look. On the outside, a unique design – courtesy of a local graphic artist.
”It’s kind of hard to see a polar bear in a cop uniform, and not think, ‘Oh, that’s totally fun!’” said Ty Hutchens, who volunteered to design the outside of the truck. He said he hopes kids view the truck as approachable.
Friday morning, Nicholasville officers tested out their new ride, unveiling it to some of the city’s smallest citizens at Heartland Academy in Nicholasville.
“I think we need to come up with ways to build those relationships, that make kids trust police,” said Sgt. Grimes.
While community connections take time, police hope a simple “copsicle” could be the start of something sweet.
“Not only are they getting a popsicle, but they’re getting a relationship,” said Sgt. Grimes. “We’re going to be able to show them we’re human, just like anybody else. We’re going to get out there and laugh, and giggle, and yeah, it’s gonna be fun, we hope.”
People can see “Operation Copsicle” in person tomorrow at the Nicholasville Walmart. The department is hosting Cram the Cruiser from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. to collect school supplies for Jessamine County Schools.