It’s National Coffee With a Cop Day!
Local law enforcement took that as an opportunity to have candid conversations with the community that they service.
The Oneida County Sheriff’s Office had representatives at Panera Bread in New Hartford on Wednesday. They host their “Community Coffee” events often, and the sheriff says it helps eliminate any walls between the protector and the protected.
“We found it was one of the most effective community tools,” said Oneida County Sheriff Rob Maciol. “It gives an opportunity for us to interact with the public, with no agenda. It’s not like we're at your door, knocking with a complaint. Or we're not pulling you over, or you're not having to report something."
In Utica, members of the Utica Police Department sat down for a cup of joe at the Marr-Logg Restaurant on Culver Avenue, with the goal of bridging the communication gap between the community and the police department.
“It’s a relaxed environment,” said Officer Jim Dongsavanh of the Utica Police Department. “I think people feel more comfortable when we're not responding to a serious situation and they have to talk to us in that sense.”
Police say they even spoke with someone Wednesday morning who is interested in a career in criminal justice and they were able to answer the questions they had.