The Arlington County Police Department teamed up with 7-Eleven for “Operation Chill” to reward good behavior. The program allows police to “ticket” Arlington youth spotted doing good deeds — with a coupon for a free small Slurpee good at 7-Eleven stores across the county.
Some of the “offenses” officers might give out a coupon for could be a kid helping another person, wearing a bicycle helmet, picking up trash or participating in other positive community activities.
“We look forward to participating in Operation Chill each year, as these coupons provide an excellent tool for our officers to encourage responsible behavior within our community,” said Chief M. Douglas Scott.
Since the program began in 1995, Arlington County officers have distributed tens of thousands of Slurpee coupons to children.
Prince George’s County Crime Solvers gave the $2,000 grant to foster cooperation between the two counties. The money will go directly toward rewarding anonymous tipsters for reporting crimes.
Arlington County Crime Solvers President Andres Tobar says because some people who witness a crime don’t feel comfortable talking to police, they may not report the information at all. Crime Solvers allows these people to call in anonymously, and receive a reward for tips that lead to an arrest and conviction.
Tobar emphasizes that criminals often commit crimes in a variety of neighborhoods, so jurisdictions need to work together to catch the offenders. He says it’s in the best interest of all jurisdictions to make sure that people from neighboring communities can call in tips.
Tobar also says that there has been much turnover on Arlington’s Crime Solvers board, and they are actively recruiting. He notes that Prince George’s County has a strong board, and this grant helps show the commitment to improving Arlington’s board.
“This is a very nice shot in the arm for us,” Tobar said. ”It’s also a gesture of faith on the part of Prince George’s County that we will use this to move our organization forward. We will not disappoint them.”
Any members of the business community who want to get involved or join the Arlington Crime Solvers board should contact Andres Tobar at 202-841-7998, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Citizens who have tips to anonymously report can call Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).
Police say the man approached the girl while her mother was inside the laundromat at 3600 Columbia Pike.
“The suspect pulled the child inside a small play house and sexually assaulted her,” police said in a statement. “The child was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment.”
The man is described as Hispanic, 5’1″, 130 lbs, with brown eyes, bushy black hair and a mustache. Police will be canvasing the area around the laundromat today, handing out flyers with the suspect’s sketch and information about the crime.
Anyone with information about the suspect should call Arlington County Crime Solvers at 866-411-TIPS (8477). A reward of up to $1,000 is being offered in the case.