The Davenport Police Association will host its third annual Cops and Cones Ice Cream Social on Monday near the large fountain at Vander Veer Botanical Park. Hours are 6-8 p.m. or while supplies last.
“Ice cream socials I remember as a kid inspired me to bring back this sort of social gathering,” said Sgt. Eric Gruenhagen, the president of the association and the originator of Cops and Cones.
“The Davenport Police Association understands that building strong relationships within our community is critical in this line of work,” he said. “What better way to bring people together in a fun, festive way to meet and greet Davenport police officers.”
In their work, police often see the worst of society and events involving tragedy, accidents, crime and violence, he said.
“This is a positive reminder for everyone that we also want to see the good in our community,” Gruenhagen said.
Each year, the event has grown, and along with it sponsorship, to offset the costs, he said.
The association also does fundraising for causes it promotes.
“In the spring, we held a fundraiser for the event with a T-shirt sale around Saint Patrick’s Day,” Gruenhagen said.
It also is a popular event that is spreading to other departments around the country.
“I have received inquiries from out-of-state law enforcement agencies asking for our event plans and permission to copy our program,” Gruenhagen said. “Ridgefield (Connecticut) Police Department was the last agency to call me requesting info about our ice cream social.
“It is my hope that the community will come out and meet us,” he said. ‘We must get to know each other. Police and community members all have a vested interest in our city. We can do great things if we work together. This event is a step in the right direction."
This year's sponsors include Whitey's Ice Cream; Environmental Services Inc., or ESI; The Great Midwest Seafood Co.; Davenport Morning Optimist Club; Davenport Parks and Recreation; and the Davenport Police Department.