Those who follow the West Jefferson Police Department on social media know that the officers are invested in their community. Many of their posts conclude with #WestJeffCares. Making sure the residents know that was the purpose of the village’s first ever Coffee with a Cop event.
On Wednesday, residents were welcome to join officers at The Daily Buzz coffee shop on Main Street for conversation and, of course, coffee.
“This is a great way for the citizens to get out and ask us questions without an agenda or in an intimidating environment,” said Chief Rick Hardy. “These kinds of things are really your chance to ask ‘why?’”
Hardy, who was previously employed with the Grove City Division of Police, said he had participated in a quarterly coffee get-together and wanted to make sure the opportunity came to West Jefferson.
“(Oct. 3) is National Coffee with a Cop Day and I thought it would be a great thing for the people of West Jeff to be involved with,” Hardy said. He added that the event fit well within the department’s mission to integrate law enforcement into the community in a more productive and effective way.
According to the event’s website, the initiative was launched in Hawthorne, California in 2011 and started as a way to break barriers between cops and citizens.
“We represent this community, we’re a part of this community, we want it to be stronger, ” Hardy added. “We do not succeed in our job without the community’s support.”
Hardy said he would like to do more events like this, especially as the holidays come around.
“Supporting each other and the community is a win-win for everyone,” he said.