Coffee with a Cop, first year in Fort Oglethorpe, Ringgold

By Tamara Wolk, Walker County Messenger
Original article HERE

"Coffee with a Cop"

On October 4, the Fort Oglethorpe and Ringgold Police departments joined 650 other police departments nationwide to participate in “Coffee with a Cop” Day – an opportunity for the police and members of the community to mingle and get to know one another better.

Seven Fort Oglethorpe police officers and Police Chief Mike Helton used Chick-fil-A on Battlefield Parkway as their meeting place. Ringgold police chose McDonald’s in their city.

“This was our first year to participate in the event,” says Helton. “The idea is to build good relationships between officers and the community. You can’t build a relationship sitting in a car.”

Helton says he wants the community to understand that “it’s not us against them. We’re all part of the same city and need to work together to make it a good place.”

“Officers spend so much of their time dealing with problems, with the negative,” says Helton. “The chance to meet people over coffee, talk with them and listen to their concerns is as important for our officers as it is for the public. It reminds them that it’s not all problems out there. Most of what’s going on is positive.”

“Coffee with a Cop” was started in 2011 by the Hawthorn Police Department in California and has spread across the country and the world since. The date for the annual event – Oct. 4 – seems natural. 10-4. Affirmative. A term that means “I understand you.”

“We’ll do this again next year,” says Helton. “We hope it will grow and be a significant part of our commitment to partnering with the community to make life better for everyone.”

To learn more about “Coffee with a Cop” Day, visit