Residents and Police Come Together at Annual Coffee With a Cop
SAN ANGELO, TX -- This morning, October 3 from 9 to 11 a.m., the Cactus Hotel served as a meeting place for citizens and police officers to interact and talk together.
Coffee with a Cop is a national event, but locally it has been taking place for four of five years, according to police, with a different location each year.
“Coffee with a Cop opens discussion in an informal setting,” said San Angelo Police Department Public Information Officer Tracy Gonzalez. “We get asked all sorts of questions. We also want people to know that they can reach out to us on Facebook and Twitter if they don’t want to call the office. We want San Angelo to be a safe play to work and play.”
Sergeant Coffman said, “We are trying to expand this event to where we can have it once every three months. Businesses have come to us asking if they and host, and this is a great was to bring the public and law enforcement together.”
Talking to police officers and detectives can change your perspective about their job or your community. “A mom brought her 23-year-old son who had a brain injury to talk with us today. When he was little, his dad was pulled over for speeding and because of the boy’s disability, he was scared of the police officer. After talking with us, the mom said she could see a change in her son and he was no longer afraid of a man in uniform,” said Sergeant Coffman.
Lieutenant Pucci also mentioned that the event “is a great recruiting venue. I’ve been asked twice this morning how a person can become a police officer.” He detailed a 12 week program called Citizens Police Training Academy that will begin in February next year. “There is one class per week and once they graduate, they can go on ride-alongs with officers.”
There is also a Police Explorers group for 15 to 21-year-olds very similar to what training would be like for real officers.
“Being an officer is not only a career and profession but also a lifestyle,” said Pucci. “We see both of the negative and positive sides of events and we want to try to have positive interactions.”
Be sure to follow the San Angelo Police Department on Facebook and Twitter to receive notifications about when their upcoming events will be.