‘They’re superheroes’: Greeley police find continued success with outreach program
By Trevor Reid, Greeley Tribune
Original article HERE
About a year ago, Greeley Police Chief Jerry Garner wasn’t sure how residents would react to the department’s first Coffee With a Cop.
Saturday morning, heading into another such event, he had enough experience to know there could have been anywhere from five to 50 people for Coffee With a Cop at the Blue Mug Coffee Bar, 807 17th St.
“The key is to be available,” Garner said.
At least a dozen residents spoke with Greeley police in the first hour of the event. Andrew Wronkoski, an officer on the Neighborhood Action Team, said the conversation topics vary just as much as the turnout does.
“I’ve had people talk about issues in the city, but we also just talk about personal lives — why we’re a cop; what’s going on with us and them,” he said. “It’s nice to get to know people.”
Deniece Rudd of Greeley brought her children to Coffee With a Cop at the request of her youngest. Abby Rudd, 8, hopes to be a police officer when she grows up. Deniece said she brought a flyer about Coffee With a Cop home Thursday night, and Abby made an excited gasp: “We’re going, right?”
Deniece Rudd spoke with Barb Pickett-Weber, a Greeley resident who helps organize the Citizens Police Academy, as well as Garner.
“The chief we’ve seen quite a few times,” she said.
The first time Rudd and her family met Garner was while they were walking by the library. Inside, Garner was about to speak to the League of Women Voters.
“Abby was like, ‘Yes! Can we go hear him talk?'” Deniece said. “So he kind of knows her.”
Deniece brought the flyer home from the Citizens Police Academy, a program she first learned about at an earlier Coffee With a Cop.
Pickett-Weber said she goes to Coffee With a Cop to help support local law enforcement and to recruit more residents into the Citizens Police Academy. She said she realized how committed police are after going to the academy and wanted to be a part of it.
Deniece said the academy has been an amazing experience.
“They’re superheroes. Just seeing what they do and honestly their passion for it,” she said.