2nd 'Coffee and Conversation with a Cop' well attended

By WKTV News

HERKIMER, N.Y. (WKTV) - Pastor Tenolian Bell with the First Baptist Church in Herkimer is actually from St. Louis, the very area that has seen so much unrest over the past two weeks since a teenager was shot by police.

Bell says it's ironic that he decided to hold a monthly event called Coffee and Conversation with a Cop last month and now the event he feels is even more important, "The whole purpose of this event is to try and build the relationships between the police officers of Herkimer and Mohawk and the residents."

The pastor says the situation in Missouri could happen anywhere, "What we're hoping to do is build these relationships so we don't have the same thing here that we're having in St. Louis."

The first monthly meetings as held in July, long before the shooting an unrest unfolded in Missouri.

First Baptist Church of Herkimer Moderator Jill Farnum-Us says just having conversations with the offices that serve us is a good thing, "We all have pictures in our minds of a year and a half ago, when all the big humvees and armored vehicles were here when the man was shooting people in March, so we know that there's a military aspect to the police, and we respect that, but sometimes we feel afraid to connect with that, so it's important to know people as people and to know that we're all here to help each other, and to make this the best place it can be for everybody."

Bell and Farnum-Us say they hope these meetings get bigger each month and they would like to see other communities here in Central New York follow suit and hold their own conversations.

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