Residents sip coffee, enjoy conversation with local law enforcement

By Tripp Girardeau, Aiken Standard
Original article HERE


A small group of Aiken Department of Public Safety officers spent some time sipping coffee and speaking openly with members of the community Thursday morning at Krispy Kreme on Whiskey Road.

Public Safety has multiple Coffee with a Cop events each year and they are a good way for residents to interact with officers one a one-on-one level.

Sgt. Jennifer Hayes, with Aiken Public Safety, said the agency hosts a Coffee with a Cop event every couple of months, each time at a different location.

“We are here, making officers available to the public in a real relaxed setting,” said Hayes. “We don’t have any kind of agendas we are pushing. We don’t have purpose other than to just be here and be available if citizens have questions or concerns they want to raise. We set this time aside specifically for them and for that purpose.”

Chief Charles Barranco, along with six officers, were available Thursday morning to talk with residents.

Officer Dawn Drasher helped to put on Thursday’s event and said she felt it went well.

“I think today was a good turnout – we had a lot of officers here and a good number of the community here and everybody seemed pretty open,” Drasher said.

Drasher said the event has helped the agency build a positive interaction between police and the community they protect.

“This helps to build relationships with the community and that’s super important,” Drasher said. “Events like this help the community to know that they can trust us and they can get a feel for the people who are actually out working the streets every day to keep this place safe.”

Myrtis P. Mason, of Johnston, said she came out for some coffee and ended up having a nice conversation with some officers.

“I enjoyed speaking with the officers, it was a pleasure,” Mason said.