Nothing says summertime like sunshine + popsicle-stained sticky fingers. And the Lexington Police Department is helping to bring a sprinkle of sweetness around town with its special police vehicle — the Operation Copsicle van.
We spoke with LPD to learn more about this community-building initiative.
A sweet start
Despite helping to spark a national campaign, Operation Copsicle has humble local beginnings. It started in the summer of 2017 when Officer Ryan Holland brought free popsicles to the kids at Douglass Park.
Officer Holland began a fundraiser to help fill the freezer + in less than a month he collected ~72,000 popsicles for kids in Lexington.
After garnering attention from national snack brands Jel Sert and Fla-Vor-Ice, “Pops from Cops” was born. The partnership brought 80,000 popsicles to LPD for use in our community. The idea grew + expanded to law enforcement agencies across the country.
As the program grew, so did the ideas. The thought of a “Copsicle” van came about after connecting with a fellow officer in Massachusetts. Officer Holland pitched the idea and Chief Lawrence Weathers gave it the green light in 2021.
In less than a month, Officer Holland and the Lexington Citizen Police Academy Alumni Association raised $45,000+ to purchase the van.
More than just a van
The Operation Copsicle van can be spotted serving smiles + sweet treats in neighborhoods around the city. Depending on availability, it also makes appearances at various community events.
Fun fact: The van also doubles as an entertainment center — featuring a large outdoor movie screen, projector, audio system, and a popcorn machine.
The program is currently looking for sponsors to help cover movie-licensing fees in hopes of bringing family-friendly movie nights to the community. You can get more information on how to help by reaching out here.