Cops connect with Port Colborne community through coffee talk

By Nathaniel Johnson, The Standard
Original article HERE

WT-LO13-CopsCoffee496Packed with Niagara Regional Police officers, a Main Street Tim Hortons in Port Colborne was probably the safest place to be Monday morning.

At least a dozen officers, including Chief Bryan MacCulloch, were inside the coffee shop, its parking lot filled with marked and unmarked cruisers.

A canine unit even showed up.

But the visit to Tim Hortons, between Steele Street and Fielden Avenue, didn’t involve any sort of incident or investigation.

Instead it was for a Coffee with a Cop event, something the police service has been running, and part of planned Police Week events across Niagara.

“We’ve been doing this for the last year and a half and we try and get out once a month to communities across the Region,” said MacCulloch.

The chief was joined by Deputy Chief Brett Flynn, Deputy Chief Bill Fordy, Port Colborne District Cmmdr. Rob LaPlante and Sgt. Aaron Gross, and other members of the service.

“We find it really useful to get down to the grassroots of the community, to find out what we’re doing well and what areas we can improve on,” the chief said, after sitting down and speaking with three Port Colborne residents.

He said after each Coffee with a Cop, the police service comes back with valuable input from a community, each with its own different feedback.

“Some of the bigger cities, St. Catharines and Niagara Falls, they might have more urban issues than the Port Colbornes and Wainfleets.”