Community members grab coffee with cops, bridging gap

By Sara Tewksbury, WebCenter11
Original article HERE

This morning local police officers gathered at the Fairbanks Memorial Hospital to grab a coffee with the public at this month’s Coffee with a Cop. It is an outreach event to bridge the gap between police and the public.

“Over the years, law enforcement has kind of lost their constituency. We’ve lost touch with a lot of the public and things, and this is really important, that we get out in a non-enforcement capacity, get to meet the public, we get to answer some of their questions and interact with them on more of a personal level,” said Captain of the Alaska State Troopers “D” Detachment Ronald Wall.

Deputy Chief at the Fairbanks Police Department Dan Welborn says it’s nice to break the barrier from negative situations they are in daily to these informal conversations over coffee.

“Most of what we do is really tense at times, and we’re dealing with a lot of the negativity out there, so this is just a time to stir up a conversation about anything. I’ve already had a couple here this morning, and people are just free to ask you whatever, and it’s just a good time,” said Welborn.

Clint Brooks, the chief operating officer at the Fairbanks Memorial Hospital, says it is a great opportunity for their employees to mingle with their neighborhood police.

“It’s a small town, small community, these are our neighbors, and you know, a lot of people know each other. So just to be able to come down and say hi, shake their hand, thank them for all their service that they do for the community is a good thing,” said Brooks.

Representatives from the Fairbanks Police Department, North Pole Police Department and Alaska State troopers joined together to hold this event.

“We police together. We serve the communities together. We might as well go ahead and do these events together as well,” said Wall.

They are hoping to hold Coffee with a Cop once a month throughout the community.