Coffee with a cop

CREATED Jan. 14, 2014

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CAPE CORAL--It was a golden opportunity at the golden arches this morning as a group of Cape Coral police officers sat down for a couple of hours  over a free cup of coffee, for some good conversation with local residents.

“Most of the interaction we have with the public is under stressful circumstances and maybe not necessarily the best days that they're having,” says Sergeant Joseph Zalenski.

But today, the Cape Coral Police Department is looking to change that.

Coffee With a Cop, is a program set up by the Department of Justice that allows local police officers to sit back, relax, and just chat with the public. Sergeant Zalenski has had a lot of that today

“I've had discussions about how our promotions department is working , to why I don’t like the Buffalo Bills,” Wilson says.

People of all ages showing up, with all kinds of talking points

“I bicycle everywhere and we talked about bicycle laws and things I was really curious about,” says Cape resident, Gunner Ward.

And resident, Tim Murphy also got to chat about a topic that’s been on his mind lately.

“I did bring up that whole thing with Ft. Myers getting rid of local police and just going with sheriff’s,” says Murphy, “I was actually opposed to that.”    

Bridging gaps with a coffee, and a idea that for these residents, was a slam dunk.

“I’ve never got the opportunity to talk to them in a normal fashion and it's kind of surprising how, at least that cop, how relatable he was,” says Gunner Ward.

This is the first year that Cape Coral Police Department has participated in the Coffee with a Cop program, and they hope to make it a regular event.

Emily Dishnow