HOLLAND, Mich. – The Holland Police Department unveiled their new ice cream truck Tuesday, built to strengthen their community relations by handing out free ice cream.
“It’s called Operation Polar Patrol, to protect and serve frozen treats,” said Holland Police Sgt. Larry Matzen.
The 2015 Dodge Pro Master van was built entirely through donations. Everything from the truck, to the ice cream, is funded by local businesses and the community. After nine months of hard work, Operation Polar Patrol is a go.
“It started off as a crazy idea that got laughed at initially, and then we ran with it,” said Sgt. Matzen.
And while the truck won’t protect and serve in the traditional sense, the ice cream truck is giving police a chance to reconnect with the community.
“It’s no secret that police and community relations over the past 3-4 years has suffered,” Sgt. Matzen said. “We wanted to get back to the serving aspect of policing… because a lot of people just don’t like to approach us and that’s the opposite of what we want.”
Tuesday’s unveiling outside the Holland Police Department gave locals an inside look at the new truck. Officials believe it takes strong support from the community to pull off something as unique as Operation Polar Patrol.
“I did a lot of research on it and I could only find five police departments nationwide that have a program like this,” said Sgt. Matzen.
There’s no set schedule for the ice cream truck yet, but you can expect to see the truck around throughout the summer.