Kids of all ages are invited to come out to Wendy’s today to enjoy free ice cream and get to know a James City County police officer.
The “Ice Cream with a Cop” program, which launched earlier this summer, is the passion project of Officer Jamie Lilley.
“Kids have always been in my heart,” Lilley said of the inspiration for the initiative. “I just started thinking of what can I do with kids and then I thought, well, all kids like ice cream.”
Friday’s event will be the third and final one of the summer, and will take place at the Wendy’s on Pocahontas Trail.
McDonalds and Chick-fil-A locations around town have previously hosted, and Lilley says she hopes to continue to move the event to different parts of the county in the future.
The free ice cream is definitely what draws kids in, but Lilley is hopeful they will take away an important message from interacting with local police officers.
“They need to see that we’re just people, too,” she said. “This is a way to let them know that we care about them.”
Previous “Ice Cream with a Cop” sessions have attracted more than 50 kids over the course of the 90-minute sessions. Four or five officers are usually on site to chat with the kids about varied topics such as their summer vacations and back-to-school plans.
Though cooler temperatures will soon make ice cream a less appealing treat, Lilley hopes to pick up the program again in the late fall or winter in a slightly varied form.
“Crayons with a Cop” will give kids a chance to color and plan with art supplies while chatting with officers in a fun, low-pressure setting.
Wendy’s is located at 1907 Pocahontas Trail and the event runs from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.