Fairfield Officers Inspire Youngest Attendees of Fourth Coffee with a Cop
By Gail Bottone, Tapinto West Essex
Original article HERE
The Fairfield Police Department (FPD) provided more than 70 cups of coffee at the newly renovated West Essex Diner for its fourth annual Coffee with a Cop event.
Officer Stacy Chiarolanza said the FPD was thrilled with the turnout and especially with the many young children who attended with their parents and grandparents.
“The owners have done a really nice job in renovating the diner, and we had a nice turn out today,” said Chiarolanza. “Some people were first timers to the diner, wanting to see the new place and have a cup of coffee with a cop.”
Among those who attended was 8-year-old Demetri Logothetis. Although the young Fairfield resident’s initial aspiration was to become a professional gamer, Demetri said he was so impressed with the police officers that he has changed his mind—he now wants to become a police officer as well.
Stating that it is always a good thing to know more about the person in a uniform, Fairfield Township Council President Thomas Morgan noted that Coffee with a Cop allows residents to talk to a police officer on a personal level.
“This is a wonderful program that allows interaction with the police,” said fellow council member Joseph Cifelli. “It shows the person behind the badge.”
Diner owners George, Gus and Anastasia Logothetis, were also present to greet those who came to talk to the police officers and enjoy a cup of coffee.
“We are glad to be involved,” said Gus, who looks forward to hosting more events like this at the restaurant. “It is an honor to be part of this. It is a great cause.”
Henning Drive resident Allen Scazafabo shared that this was his first time attending Coffee with a Cop. A long-time supporter of law enforcement officers, Scazafabo said that FPD is “one thing that makes Fairfield a great place to live” and that its officers make him “proud to be a resident of Fairfield.”
“They are not only there to protect us but are present at Town Day, National Night Out and other township events,” he said. “Under the direction of Fairfield Chief of Police Anthony Manna, they make their presence known in the community, and it has an old school feel. They stop and talk to neighbors and are pleasant and welcoming. It’s not just a job for them.”
According to the Coffee with a Cop website, taking the time to meet “at neutral locations” provides officers and community members alike with the opportunity to have “real conversations about issues that matter.” It also gives citizens and police officers a chance “to get to know each other and discover mutual goals for the community they live and serve.”
The police department also provided handouts to participants that included crayons and 9-1-1 coloring books, key chains with small flashlights, clip-on flashers, literature about drug and alcohol abuse and more.
The owners of the West Essex Diner said they plan to start selling T-shirts to raise funds for local charities as well as breast cancer awareness. One-hundred percent of the profits will be donated toward these causes, they said.