FAIRHOPE, Ala. (WKRG) — Now patrolling the streets of Fairhope in search of the unsuspecting for a chance encounter with, “We got ice-cold popsicles.”
They call it “Pops with Cops”. “We’ll ride around when it’s hot and we’ll try to find people just surprise them with a popsicle and a smile,” says officer Brian Millines.
It’s a small thing really but for Millines and officer Bunky Bishop, two of the departments school resource officers, it’s one of the best parts of their job. “A lot of times when people call the police or interact with police it can be the worse day of their life. So give people an opportunity to have a positive encounter with police is always a great thing,” says Bishop.
Fairhope police have been passing out popsicles for the last five years. “This is our opportunity to try to give back to our community,” says Chief Stephanie Hollinghead. “It’s 90 degrees outside who doesn’t like a popsicle.”
It’s certainly a hit at the local park but it can be a bit uncomfortable when a police officer approaches for seemingly no reason. “Sometimes it’s confusing like what did I do?”
In the end it’s about making a connection, building relationships, community policing. “Every day can’t be a bad day,” says Bishop. “We have to have a good day. We have to have fun sometime?”
For that we recognize the Fairhope Police Department for making a difference one smile and one popsicle at a time.