VERO BEACH — Kids in Vero Beach may actually look forward to their next encounter with the “heat” this summer, thanks to a program developed by 7-Eleven stores that rewards positive behavior with a very cool treat. Through Operation Chill, Vero Beach police officers will “ticket” with Slurpee coupons, youngsters that they observe doing something helpful, deterring crime or participating in a positive activity in the community. Free Slurpee coupons will be issued during the summer months and back-to-school. Since the program’s inception in 1996, more than 10 million Operation Chill coupons have been distributed to hundreds of law enforcement agencies across the country in the areas where 7-Eeleven operates stores. This is the fifth summer police have used the Operation Chill program to reward youth for their good deeds as well as enhance their relation with the young people of Vero Beach. Operation Chill was developed by 7-Eleven to positively reward and encourage good behavior by kids during the hot summer months, when there is often an increase in loitering, shoplifting and graffiti, and to support law enforcement agencies community relations projects. The success and popularity of Operation Chill has resulted in the program being extended beyond the summer months to a year-round tool for local law enforcement officers to use during the school year as well. “7-Eleven is the leader in crime prevention, and we’re very proud of the success of this program,” said Stephanie Watts, 7-Eleven Loss Prevention Manager. “This year, 750,000 free Slurpee coupons will be distributed across the country through Operation Chill. That’s a great deal of positive behavior!” Youngsters ticketed by the police will receive coupons good for a free small Slurpee that can be redeemed at participating Vero Beach stores. The semi-frozen carbonated beverage is a favorite with both young and old. More than a half-million Slurpees’ are purchased each day during the summer at 7-Eleven stores across the country.