Dozens of kids were peacefully playing at the Pioneer Park sprayground Thursday afternoon, trying to beat the heat and the haze around Pierce County.
And that’s when Puyallup police showed up, lights ablaze.
Well, brain freeze.
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Puyallup police handed out hundreds of coupons for free Slurpees courtesy of 7-Eleven to children playing at Pioneer, Bradley Lake and Grayland parks during what’s likely the hottest day of the year. Temperatures were above 90 degrees, even with wildfire smoke from British Columbia blocking some of the sunlight.
Consider them citations for good behavior.
“It’s an awesome, awesome program,” police spokesman Scott Engle said. “It gives us a great opportunity to connect with children.”
The department dubbed their activity “Operation Chill Puyallup.”
The coupons were given to kids who were playing well with others (or, really, anyone willing to brave the hot temperatures).
Kathy Johnson brought her grandchildren, 5-year-old Michael and 2½-year-old Evangeline, to Pioneer Park, well …
“Cause it’s hot,” she said succinctly.
She didn’t know police were going to come to the park to hand out the Slurpee coupons, but they were certainly a welcome treat.
Michael made sure his didn’t get wet, but quickly went back to trying to chase a bird, then went and played in the water features again.
Evangeline was less excited. She threw her coupon in the garbage can.
“She’s cleaning,” Johnson said wryly.
(The coupon was faithfully fished out by one of the 10 or so Puyallup Police Department employees on hand.)
There was one water-related incident involving a Puyallup police officer at Pioneer Park, however.
Sgt. Kevin Gill was walking through the sprayground when he “took a wrong step” and got doused with a deluge of water from the tower feature in the middle of the park, courtesy of some kids.
His co-workers burst out in laughter.
“I didn’t see that coming,” Gill said.
He wasn’t exactly complaining, though. He was in full uniform, and Thursday afternoon’s weather was even hotter for him than the kids he was rewarding.