Coffee with A Cop hosted by Goodwin’s Market

By Douglas W. Motley, The Alpenhorn News
Original article HERE

The latest in a series of ‘Coffee with a Cop’ events, held Wednesday, March 28 at Goodwin’s Market in Crestline, attracted scores of community members interested in meeting and interacting with their local law enforcement and fire personnel in a relaxed, casual atmosphere.

“It’s a very good gathering, and it’s getting better all the time, now that the community is finding out about it. Positive interaction with the police, fire and CHP gives people a chance to talk to us and realize that we’re human beings too,” said Capt. Dale Gregory, Twin Peaks Sheriff’s Station commander.

In agreement with Capt. Gregory was retired station commander Jerome (Punch) Ringhoffer, who later became the department’s deputy chief. “It’s a good turnout, a great crowd of cops and firemen showing the flag so people can see who the players are. This is a good way to get the community to interact with all those who serve and protect, put out the fires and keep our roads safe.”

Cedarpines Park resident Carol Lunn, who was attending for the first time, said she was interested in becoming a Citizens on Patrol (COP) volunteer. Noting that she had already taken a 911 dispatch course at the Sheriff’s Department’s training center in Devore, Lunn said she planned to attend a COP meeting at the Twin Peaks station later in the day.

As first responders and private citizens mingled in Goodwin’s deli department, enjoying their morning coffee and munching on bakery items, conversations ranged from concerns over illegal drug activity to transients and homeless encampments. Voicing his concern with motorists driving in fog without headlights, Gary Bankroft said he had just talked with a sheriff’s public information officer about a recent incident in which he was nearly broadsided in the fog by one such driver. “Flores told me it was also a problem for law enforcement when stopping drivers on a foggy road.”

Cal Fire Capt. David Bradley said he’s concerned with society’s negative attitude towards law enforcement and fire personnel. There’s a lack of respect today from young people. Having both parents at home helps give children a good foundation and upbringing.”

County Supervisor Janice Rutherford, who was in town for a groundbreaking ceremony at Lake Gregory Dam, told The Alpenhorn News, “This is a really impressive turnout.” Noting that there’s a lack of communication between the public and law enforcement, she said, “Conversations between the community and law enforcement at events like this are a great opportunity to improve communication.”