Coffee with a Cop — an internationally recognized not-for-profit organization to promote open lines of communication between local communities and the police and first responders who serve in them — went off without a hitch at the Branding Iron Bistro for Pierre’s fourth Coffee with a Cop event last Wednesday morning, Oct. 2.
“It was very well attended,” Captain Bryan Walz of Pierre Police Department said. “Not only by police but by the public too.”
Walz has been serving the community of Pierre for almost 20 years.
Coffee with a Cop was started in Hawthorne, CA, in 2011, when officers in the Hawthorne Police Department were looking for a way to better interact with the people they served, according to the Coffee with a Cop website.
The Hawthorne-based company explains the ever-constant is change. The demographics of an area can be shifted due to expansion, people commute in or out of an area, and just normal life experiences like people moving away or coming home.
As well, with new forms of communication like the internet with social media applications, the world is always moving to the next thing.
With the concept of “community policing,” where the police are an interactive part of the community, and everything moving at net speed, Coffee with a Cop provides an opportunity for the community and all of its parts to come together and take a collective breath.
“It is an opportunity to interact with the public on a one-on-one basis and where they can ask any questions,” Walz said. “We answer to the best of our ability.”
The first three Coffee with a Cop events were great successes in Pierre; and held around town at Burger King in December 2017, at Taco John’s in March 2018 and McDonald’s in April 2019.
The Oct. 2 event is the official Coffee with a Cop day, where not only in all 50 states are there restaurants full of their communities for the blue line interaction, but internationally in Canada, Europe, Australia, Africa and South America, according to Coffee with a Cop. Captain Walz says they plan to continue to do them more than just annually.
Success could be seen Wednesday at the Branding Iron Bistro in the tables and booths of community members, with and without badges, sipping coffee and sharing conversations.
“The place was really full,” barista Dayza Nelson said.
Pam Metzinger is co-owner of the Branding Iron Bistro since 2015 with her husband, and both are Pierre residents for 40 years. Both enjoy these kinds of community events that allow people to come together.
“It was good,” Metzinger said. “I think they were happy. We like entertaining these kinds of things.”