Coffee connects cops with community

Jessica Hubble | Multimedia Editor

By Kaylee Greenlee | Reporter

The Waco Police Department, the Hewitt Police Department and the Woodway Department of Public Safety hosted the second “Coffee with a Cop” community meeting of 2018 at the Whataburger off of Hewitt Drive on Thursday.

The event series began on national “Coffee with a Cop” day last year and has become a community favorite. Since the start of the year, the departments have worked to host these and similar events around town monthly.

The purpose of the event is to give citizens the opportunity to get to know the officers who are working in their cities and to encourage positive relationships between citizens and their officers.

Waco Chief of Police Ryan Holt said the event is an important time for the police to get out and hear the concerns of the public.

“We derive all of our authority from our relationship with the community, through the trust the public has in us,” said Holt,

The meetings have been hosted at places such as Shipley Do-Nuts and Whataburger so citizens can build relationships with their officers in a comfortable, familiar environment. They provide a platform for citizens to come and voice their opinions or concerns to officers.

“We’re humans behind the badge and uniform. We’re not perfect but we have some people who are willing to get up every day and put their lives on the line for their fellow community members,” Holt said.

As community policing has gained more popularity, Holt said, hosting events like these have become crucial to maintain communication between law enforcement officials and community members.

Waco police officer Sofie Martinez said they want the community to know they are present to protect and serve them

“We’re here for our community in any way that they need it,” Martinez said.