The Toms River Police Department will be running its third annual “Operation Brain Freeze” to promote compliance with helmet laws in an attempt to prevent traumatic brain injuries. Police spokesman Ralph Stocco says that this year’s campaign is set to begin Wednesday June 22nd and will run through September 4th 2016. Last year we had 40 Officers participate, handing out over 300 vouchers for free ice cream. Stocco says that this year we hope to issue 500 vouchers. The participating ice cream shops on the barrier island and beach area are Summer Sweets and Barnacle Bills. Participating shops in the mainland area of the township are Yellow Brick Road Carousel, Mrs. Walkers, Rita’s, Dairy Queen, and Denae’s Sweet Shop.
While on patrol, if an officer observes a child riding a bicycle, skateboard, roller blades, or scooter while correctly wearing a safety helmet, the officer will approach them and talk to the kids as they stress the importance of them wearing their helmets. As an incentive the children will then be provided with a voucher to one of the local businesses that entitle them to on free ice cream. For safety reasons only officers in uniform and driving marked police cars will be participating.
This was such a positive event the last two years. We wanted to expand it in 2016 in order to reach as many children as possible. According to Stocco, last year saw children riding around their neighborhoods looking for police cars that would observe them obeying the law so they could talk to the officers, and of course, get some free ice cream. Chief Mitchell Little says that “it is such a joy to be able to interact with the children and have them see the officers in a positive light. We are trying to build lifelong relationships with them. We thank our sponsors who are donating the ice cream. Without them this event would not be possible.”