On Thursday, members of the public got a sweet chance to mingle with members of the Naperville Police Department (NPD) and members of the Naperville Police Foundation (NPF) Board of Directors.The NPF in coordination with the NPD threw its third annual ice cream social at the Wagner Pavilion near the 95th Street Community Park.
Local businesses lent a hand to make the gathering a success.
”Andy’s was nice enough to donate the frozen custard for today’s event. Dunkin Donuts donated a bunch of donuts for today’s event. So you talk about community and what makes Naperville great. It’s exactly that, the foundation was ready to pay for this stuff, but Andy’s stepped up and said, nope, we love what you’re doing. Here’s your frozen custard. And Dunkin Donuts was like, hey, we want to help to here with some donuts,” said Naperville Police Chief Jason Arres.
Ice cream social helps police connect with community
The free event was an effort to help improve community outreach within the department.
“The mission of the police department, but also a mission of the Naperville Police Foundation, the community policing connecting the community with the department. And we do it through ice cream. Everybody loves ice cream and it gets adults, kids, and folks of all ages to come out have conversations and really just work to build community trust,” said Arres.
A good chance for kids to talk to the officers
Chief Arres said getting the chance to interact with local youth is one of his favorite parts about the event.
“The kids, them seeing us in good settings, you know, not where it’s a traffic stop or some other call for service. Getting to meet the police officers, the parents getting to meet us, and just the opportunity to have those conversations. I get compliments, I get complaints, I get everything. And that’s important because people need to have my ear, my staff’s ear to let us know, hey, what’s going on? Maybe it’s in their neighborhood. Maybe it’s somewhere else in the town. It’s just a great way to have access to us at the police department,” said Arres.
The NPF and NPD plan to host an ice cream social at least two times a year.
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