Cops Drink Coffee (No Donuts) With Community
There’s nothing like a Frappuccino to make an officer of the law look approachable. But that was the idea behind the SAPD’s “Coffee with a Cop” at Stango’s downtown on Monday evening.
‘We want to provide the community and the police department the opportunity to get to know each other in an informal, non-threatening environment,’ said Officer Rick Tinsley.
The focus of the event is on relationship building. As the majority of the Police Department’s contact with the public stems from emergency situations, a divide may be said to exist between the PD and the citizens. The purpose of “Coffee with a Cop” is to bridge that gap and make San Angelo Police Officers more accessible to the public.
At the gathering on Monday evening, attendees had the opportunity to ask questions and inform themselves about organizations such as Crimestoppers, and to meet the officers they are assisting.
“We as the police department can’t stop crime by ourselves,” said Tinsley, “we can’t do it without the community, we can’t be everywhere at one time.”
That may be part of the reason the police are stepping up their community involvement: to encourage citizens to come forward and work together with the police force.
Officer Zach Upton remarked that the people who turned out for coffee were “ones that are interested in what they can do to help.”
Ones like Bud Goeble, who recently moved to San Angelo and whose interest in the SAPD started with his son, who was previously a police officer.
“I’m trying to find out what’s all going on,” said Goeble, mentioning that the officers were helpfully answering his questions about Crimestoppers.
At the other end of the spectrum is the appeal to children.
“My son is nine and interested in police officers,” said Ami Mizell-Flint, who praised ‘Coffee With A Cop’ as a safe opportunity for her son to meet his heroes.
With the success of ‘Coffee With A Cop’ the SAPD looks to do more informal community events around San Angelo.
“We’re hoping to do it quarterly,” said Upton. As of yet, however nothing has been set in stone.
For more information about ‘Coffee With A Cop’ or other future events, email Officer Rick Tinsley at [email protected].
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