There is nothing like a cup of coffee and a donut to warm up to your local police officers on a chilly Tuesday morning. The Valparaiso Police Department hosted a “Coffee and Chocolate Milk with a Cop,” event and invited community members and children to meet them for some coffee and talk about local issues.
Any topic was up for discussion as the Valparaiso PD was open to different questions that community members may have. From concerns about the community, to questions about the friendly K-9 unit, discussions were flowing among the visitors and our local police men and women.
Police cars and bikes lined the entrance of Central Park Plaza while the police officers waited for the rain to let up. With the donation of coffee from Starbucks, there was hot coffee waiting for the community members.
“This is an opportunity for us to get to meet people in a very relaxed setting. We go and get coffee for everyone and talk about anything that is on their minds. We have had great feedback on this program and the citizens really seem to enjoy it,” said Michael Brickner, Valparaiso Police Chief.
This event is important for the children of Valparaiso to come out, meet the officers and realize how friendly and great their local officers are. With the help of the pups from the K-9 unit, the kids warmed up to the officers and enjoyed some chocolate milk.
Kathryn White and her daughter Elizabeth joined in the festivities and participated in getting to know their local police officers. “Elizabeth has been afraid of police officers, so I thought this was a great opportunity for us to come out and meet them. I think this event is important to the public to promote education, especially for children. It is great for community involvement,” said White.
It is great to be able to speak openly with the police officers of your community. After trying this event out a few times last year, this seems like the perfect way for the police officers to speak to their citizens in a relaxed environment.
“It is crucial to have a partnership with our citizens. We are invested in, not just Valparaiso, but also Porter County. For us to enjoy the quality of life that I think we do enjoy and for us to be successful, we really need the eyes and ears of our community. We need to have trust between the police and the community. In Valparaiso, people still call the police because they know that someone is going to come and be a professional who will listen to them. That’s the type of organization we want to have,” said Brickner.