Coffee with a Cop Day in Wheat Ridge

By Joseph Rios, Wheat Ridge Transcript
Original article HERE

Lori Williams of Westminster and Drew Folger of the Colorado State Patrol chat on Oct. 2. The two met at Coffee with a Cop Day in Wheat Ridge. The event is designed to open communication between law enforcement and the community.Police officers started off their Wednesday morning just like how they would any other morning — with a steaming hot cup of coffee — only this time they did it with the people they serve.

At least 10 officers from the Colorado State Patrol and the Wheat Ridge Police Department were standing at the front of a Starbucks at 3210 Youngfield St. on the morning of Oct. 2. The officers, standing in front of a table with coffee, pastries and giveaways, were there for Coffee with a Cop Day.

Coffee with a Cop Day aims to open communication between law enforcement and the people they serve to improve relations.

“It’s just chatting with a cop and getting good relations in. We’ve had people thank us for our work, and it’s just been great talking to them,” said Brian Cook, a Wheat Ridge Police officer.

The event was a surprise to some people like Lakewood resident Barbara Marquess who ended up spending a lot of time talking to an officer from the Colorado State Patrol.

“It’s a great way for the community to interact with the officers and to have an opportunity to thank the officers for everything they do for us,” said Marquess.

Other people like Lori Williams, a Westminster resident and former Wheat Ridge resident, had planned on going to the event. She decided to attend to participate in a community event.

“This raises awareness that every position is important in the community and the area that we’re involved in,” said Williams.

Coffee with a Cop was originally started in California as a way for police officers to interact more successfully with citizens. Police departments from all over the country participated in the event.

“It’s nice to help people think about law enforcement in a different way. Instead of people hesitating with law enforcement, they can feel better and safe that we’re trying to help the community,” said Drew Folger, an officer with the Colorado State Patrol. “A lot of people are nervous being in the same room with officers, but the reactions from people were better than expected.”