Depending upon which corner of the internet you reside, news of rising tensions between law enforcement and civilians vary. In Sarasota, the relationship between the two seems just fine over a cup of coffee.
The Sarasota Police Department hosted another Coffee With A Cop event on Monday. A few dozen officers spent time chatting with civilians about life and life on the job.
“Parents say, .I can’t wait until my kids go off to school’. I am going to miss them,” Sergeant Bruce King told a woman while they sipped their coffee.
Across the room, Clair Stauffer sat across from police recruiter Kate Meeks-Hall. They shared stories about kids and the perils of police work.
“It’s very dangerous but that’s why training is important,” said Meeks-Hall, describing a helicopter mission. “That’s why I’m very proud of what we have here.”
Nearby, Police Chief Bernadette DiPino posed for a photo with a small boy. The Coffee With A Cop event, one that the department tries to host four times per year, is a chance to humanize the people behind the badge.
“This is just a positive interaction with the police officers,” she said. “We get to know them and that trust actually makes the community safer.”
“When I was a kid, officers were someone who you respected,” added Stauffer. “This new thing where we’re fighting, there shouldn’t be a line down the middle of the table.”
The event was held at The Serving Spoon restaurant.