Police and community meet-and-greet in Alexandria at ‘Coffee with a Cop’

By Max Lindsey, KALB
Original article HERE

If you walked into one Central Louisiana coffee shop on Wednesday morning, you might have mistakenly thought you came across a crime scene.

No need for alarm, it was all part of a community meet-and-greet put on by the Alexandria Police Department.

Alexandria resident John Morovich said there’s nothing like a cup of coffee, and some good conversation to get the day started. That’s why he made his way to Le Bistreaux Coffee and Waffle Bar on Wednesday.

“I just thought I’d come out, visit with them, and see what’s going on,” said Morovich.

Another reason: He heard about APD’s Coffee with Cop, and thought it was a great idea.

“It’s what they call community policing,” said Morovich. “Where they talk to the community, see what’s going on, and how things are going.”

It’s an event Corporal Wade Bourgeois at APD got started.

“I think people have a good time speaking with us, and I think our officers have a good time doing it,” said Cpl. Bourgeois.

The idea is simple.

“This is a much more casual and relaxed thing where we can kind of just say ‘hi’ to people,” said Cpl. Bourgeois. “Visit for a little bit, and just enjoy ourselves without any paper work or anything.”

It picked up around APD, and Corporal Jeff Laborde was happy to make it a part of his daily grind.

“We’re not out there just nonstop putting somebody in jail, looking to write them a ticket, or interject,” explained Cpl. Laborde. “We do those things because that’s required, that’s our job. But we also enjoy doing this part too.”

He was even pleasantly surprised to meet Benjamin Gatch,13; an aspiring police officer.

“I think they’re nice to do it,” said Gatch. “I want to be in law enforcement. So I guess I thought it would be a great idea to meet all these officers and ask them some questions.”

It is something that makes the event worthwhile for Cpl. Laborde.

“This is not an attractive job to a lot of people,” expressed Cpl. Laborde. “A lot of people nitpick what we do. And it’s refreshing to see somebody his age go “You know, all of it’s not true. There’s got to be something different, and it looks fun.’”

Cpl. Bourgeois said this will be first of many.

“We’ll do this every month until the sun burns out,” said Cpl. Bourgeois.
Le Bistreaux owner, Patricia Meche, said she’ll keep the coffee brewing if they ever want to come back.

“We’re overjoyed,” expressed Meche. “We laughed and said there’s a lot of memories here. We’ve had a wedding here. We’ve had 40th birthday parties here. This couldn’t be a better thing for us to do for the community.”

APD says they are always looking for fresh ideas for the community, if you’d have an idea you would like to share send it to pio@cityofalex.com.