UPDATE (Friday, July 26) — The Sheriff’s Office has decided to postpone ‘Sundae Sundays’ due to a lack of interest for the initial dates. The first ice cream social will now be held at 3 p.m. on Sept. 22.

ITHACA, N.Y. — Sheriff Derek Osborne is stepping up his office’s community outreach with a new summer program: Sundae Sundays. On three Sunday afternoons, Osborne and deputies from the Tompkins County Sheriff’s Office will dish out ice cream while giving kids the scoop on local law enforcement.

“One day I was sitting with my youngest daughter eating ice cream, and I thought about how nice it was to just be able to sit and talk to her, how seamless and comfortable it was. My thought right after that was, I wish it was this seamless for other kids,” Osborne stated in a media release. “I want kids to feel like they can be comfortable with law enforcement; as easy as just sitting and eating ice cream.”

The ice cream socials are meant for kids ages six to 12, and are not Osborne’s first attempt to build an early foundation of trust between Tompkins youth and law enforcement since taking office in January.

Related: Tompkins County deputies coming to a school near you

Osborne previously announced an initiative to bring deputies into schools for informal visits. He’s encouraged deputies to drop in for storytime or to share a snack in the cafeteria, or even just for a quick stop in school parking lots while filling out paperwork.

“I want children to see deputies as a friendly face, an adult in the community who they can trust,” Osborne said in April. He said friendly outreach to kids would help ensure they don’t see law enforcement officers as disciplinarians.

Sundae Sundays will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. on July 28, Aug. 18 and Aug. 25 at Ithaca Bakery, 2255 North Triphammer Rd., Ithaca.

Sundaes will be free for families who RSVP in advance. Those who plan to attend are asked to reserve a spot by the Thursday before each event by calling 607-257-1345, ext. 4456.

Flyer provided by the Tompkins County Sheriff’s Office.

Featured image: Flickr public domain.

Devon Magliozzi

Devon Magliozzi is a reporter for the Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact her at dmagliozzi@ithacavoice.com or 607-391-0328.