OCEAN TOWNSHIP: At the request of the police department, the ice cream truck was at Palaia Park last week for the first annual Ice Cream with a Cop occasion for the youngsters in the community. It went well, as cones and kids met for fun, yum and a chance to meet the officers they see on duty, busy keeping things safe for them.
The casual get together with ice cream was a happy one. Some of the youngest little ones were a bit shy a first but the cops leaning over or kneeling on the grass next to them left the tots smiling and talking. They also got a chance to look inside the police cars, watch the red lights spin up close, and shake the hands of men and women in blue.
The idea was to bring the community together, said Chief Stephen Peters.
"Our goal is to integrate more with the community," Peters said.
Kneeling to share in a photo with three little ones, Peters said, "We're here to help everyone."
The easy manner plus the ice cream helped make new friends; kids and cops.
Mayor Chris Siciliano joined the group for a while before leaving for a meeting.
"This is for the kids and the community," he added o the Chief's words. "We will have other get-togethers during the rest of the year."
A brief shower, a drop or so, did not stop things as the ice cream truck stayed to 8 p.m. before saying goodbye to the waving crowd