National Coffee with a Cop Day: Bonding over common grounds

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska - Breaking down the barriers between police officers and citizens, our local law enforcement agencies took a pause Wednesday to enjoy a nice 'cup of joe' and the company of borough residents, for National Coffee with a Cop Day.

On the first Wednesday of October, citizens can retreat from the chilly weather into a local coffee shop, for a chat with local law enforcement. A simple idea that began in 2011, is now nationwide initiative to strengthen the relationship between local law enforcement and the community.

Sergeant Richard Sweet with the Fairbanks Police Department said this event is important when bridging the gap between FPD and the community, “There's a perception that there's a divide between police officers and the community that they serve, which is not true," he said.

The Alaska State Troopers were also represented, with many, including Lieutenant Brian Wassmann expressing his excitement for the conversation, “This is an environment where we're just talking and enjoying conversation. It's very refreshing,” he said.

The North Pole Police Department also held its own 'Coffee with a Cop' event earlier in the day. North Pole Police Chief Steve Dutra said this event is a great way to inform the public, “We're here to be able to answer those questions and maybe help them understand what we do and why we do it,” he said.

Enjoying a nice hot beverage, just about everyone appreciated their time with our men in blue.

The North Pole Police Department will be holding another event like this on October 9 at the Senior Santa Center from 10 to 11 a.m.