Cup o' Joe with Average Joes

Coffee with a Cop

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. 

© 2017 WTSP-TV


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