Members of the Boston Police Department are taking part in National Night Out, an event where police officers head out into the community and engage with people in hopes of fostering stronger relationships.
Police and city officials got a head start on Monday with Operation Hoodsie Cup — using a mobile truck and handing out free ice cream and food.
"There's a lot going on in the world and we really appreciate it with the police," said Elizabeth Sullivan, of Brighton.
Sullivan said she wanted to show her children that they should support their local police.
"I want to teach them that people put their lives on the line for us everyday so it's wonderful that they give us the opportunity to come out," Sullivan said.
The main goal of the two-day event is to foster relationships with law enforcement.
"If you told me 32 years ago when I came on this job that my officers would be OK driving ice cream trucks, and giving out hoodies, I would say you were crazy," said Boston Police Commissioner William Evans. "But we get the need for this type of activity."
Evans said people are often skeptical of the ice cream truck as a police tool.
"When I explain the rationale of how it lets us meet the young kids, and how the young kids are where we have to go after to build trust, they understand," Evans said.
Gatherings continue Tuesday across several Boston neighborhoods including Chinatown, the North End, the South End and East Boston.