Marysville holds first ‘Coffee with a Cop’

By Christopher Andersson, North County Outlook
Original article HERE

Marysville community members had the opportunity sit down and talk with local law enforcement officers one-on-one at the police department’s new Coffee with a Cop program on July 30.

The program is meant to provide a more relaxed way for community members to interact with police officers.

“In a completely casual environment, with no speeches, no agenda, people can come in, meet police officers and ask whatever questions they want to ask,” said Commander Mark Thomas from the Marysville Police Department.

Participants said they liked the new program.

“It was super fun. We enjoyed it,” said local Kimmy Foster. “Especially just getting to know everybody in a way that was nice and casual.”

Local Katie Diaz said it was a great idea and appreciated the one-on-one interaction.

“I liked that they were interacting with you and they spend time with you,” she said.

About 20 people, including some local families, stopped by The Creamery Co. for the first Coffee with a Cop.

“I think it’s going great. The energy in the room is really up and everyone seems very friendly,” said Thomas.

The department has been attempting to get this program off the ground for a while now.

“We’ve seen this go on in other departments and this is actually an idea I’ve had for over a year,” said Thomas.

“As a police officer I’ve been in restaurants or grabbing a quick bite to eat and someone will come up and say ‘hey, I know you’re having something to eat on a break but do you have time for a quick question,'” Thomas said. He hopes that the Coffee with a Cop program provides a new way to meet and talk with police.

“A lot of times when we have community meetings there is a topic or agenda that the government wants to talk about,” said Thomas, but this program lets citizen ask whatever they’re interested in.

“We’ve had people who just want to show support and other people who have specific questions about things going on in their neighborhood,” said Thomas.

Various police officials from different levels of the department attended the event.

“What I liked about this one, and we’ll repeat in the future, is that we have a cross-section of the police department,” said Thomas.

Volunteers who help with the police department’s neighborhood watch program were also on hand to answer questions.

“Actually one of the citizens here got in touch with them and is looking into setting up a block watch,” said Thomas.

Coffee with a Cop is a program that the police department hopes to continue.

“My plan is to do one a month for the rest of the year,” said Thomas. He said that there were preliminary plans in place for the next two months and the department is currently working with some locations to see what will work.

Thomas plans to mix up the locations so that the events are held in all areas of the city.

“Starting next year I’d like to look at doing non-traditional spaces, like apartment complexes that have community rooms,” he said.