Columbia, SC (WLTX) The Columbia Police Department is hoping to strengthen relationships in the community with a little help from Kona Ice.

The police department partnered with the snow cone company to pass out free cones to kids around Columbia neighborhoods.

On Wednesday afternoon they stopped by the Colony Apartments.
"This is our way to help build trust in the community and bridge the gap between the community and the police," says Deputy Chief Melron Kelly.

Deputy Chief Kelly hopes people will begin to see police officers in a more positive light.
"So many times when people see the police coming into the community their antennas go up and says what's wrong," says Deputy Chief Kelly. "So this is our way of changing that so we're coming out here to engage in conversation."

The owner of Kona Ice says he was more than willing to provide the free treats.
"It's a great thing for the kids, they get to come out and interact with the police," says Dan Cantey. "The parents get to come over also with them and they get to see the police in a good atmosphere."

Along with snow cones, there were also free hot dogs. Dozens of kids got a chance to come out and meet with police, tasting all of the flavors the Kona Ice truck had to offer.

"I got blueberry, watermelon, tiger blood," says Tanija Williams, who is excited to start 7th grade in the fall.

"I think this is wonderful what you all are doing for the kids because a lot do happen out here and they really can't do as much," says Tyeisha Hillary, parent.

Columbia Police say this event is one more way to create better relationships in the community.

Columbia Police officers will continue their "Konas on Patrol" event on August 6 at the Gonzales Gardens Apartments and Thursday, August 13 at the Four Seasons Apartments.

The event free and is held from 11 to 1:30 p.m