ST. HELENS – Local residents will have an opportunity to meet with local police officers for a free cup of coffee and conversation on Friday, Jan. 17, between 8 and 9 a.m. at the St. Helens Burgerville location, 715 S. Columbia River Highway.
“Coffee with a Cop” will allow community members to ask questions of their local police force, learn more about the department and have a cup of coffee with the officers who are on duty for the day. Police Chief Terry Moss said that he hopes to have as many as four officers available for coffee and discussion.
Last year, when Moss was promoted to the Chief of Police position, he sat downwith the St. Helens City Council to discuss ways to promote the city police department in a positive manner. Months later, he learned about a program popular on the east coast – “Coffee with a Cop” – and wondered about making it happen locally.
“I looked into it and thought this was a perfect way to accomplish some of the goals that the council and I discussed,” Moss said. “We are just building on the successes of others who have done this.”
The majority of contacts that police officers have with members of the public occur in emergencies or highly-charged emotional situations. These are not always the most effective times to work on relationship building in the community, and police officers may seem unapproachable on the street.
“We want the community to feel comfortable asking questions, or simply getting to know our officers,” said Chief Moss. “Good conversation and a cup of coffee is a great way to do that.”
Following "Coffee with a Cop," KOHI AM 1600 will feature a collaboration between the St. Helens police and the radio station, with the inaugural broadcast of “Cop Talk,” a broadcast that they hope to make a regular event. The live, hour-long interactive program gives listeners a chance to ask questions of Moss, live on the radio.
“We’ll see how it goes. KOHI hopes to make it a regular feature, with the idea that we will take this to a location [on a regular basis]. We’ll see how it goes and what kind of interest it draws,” he said.
On Jan. 17, head over to Burgerville in St. Helens to meet your local police force in a non-stressful setting and enjoy a free cup of coffee and be sure to tune in to KOHI AM 1600 at 9 a.m. for “Cop Talk.”