NewsPalm Beach CountyRegion C Palm Beach CountyRiviera Beach


Local departments celebrate National Coffee With A Cop Day

Posted at 8:19 PM, Oct 03, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-04 05:27:19-04

Officers across the country celebrated National Coffee with a Cop Day.

Several departments held events at coffee shops across South Florida.

"It strengthens our relationship with them. We get a better understanding of what's important to them and vice versa," said Lt. Frank Distefano of West Palm Beach Police Department.

West Palm Beach police came out in full force for conversation at Peet's Coffee in CityPlace.

"This is a little bit more casual, a laid back atmosphere," said Distefano. "Typically when officers arrive, it's a negative interaction. Somebody needs our help for something."

But not on Wednesday.

"I got to meet so many officers and understand what they do," said Shawn Sarsour.

Sarsour, regular at the Capital One coffee shop, was pleasantly surprised to see the place filled with badges and uniforms.

"I walked in and I thought something happened," he said. "There's a bad stigma that cops normally get. But with this event, it's good to finally put a face to the badge."

Officer Seth Buxton said people shared their concerns, thoughts and ideas when it comes to issues in their neighborhood and daily life.

"Police officers are people too, we're human beings," said Officer Seth Buxton. "I love interacting with the community in a positive manner."

In Riviera Beach, officers tried their skill at the Dunkin' Donuts cash register. They served up free hot coffee and donuts for customers at the Blue Heron Boulevard location.

"We're not here to take you to jail, we're here to serve you a cup of coffee," joked Officer Justin Borum of the Riviera Beach Police Department.

It's a debut of sorts for these cops. The department recently formed a new community oriented policing program in the city back in June.

"Once people realize, 'Oh he's just like me!" said Borum. "The only way that we can do that is to be able to sit down and take that time and speak with residents and business owners who have these concerns."

Officers tell me the key to solving and preventing crime could lie in special moments like the ones they experiences on Wednesday.

"It humanizes law enforcement," said Borum.

Many police departments regularly hold Coffee with A Cop days throughout the year, so if you missed this week's event, check with your local department.

Departments in Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Fellsmere and Boca Raton also held Coffee with a Cop events.