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Citizens seem to enjoy socializing with a cop while savoring coffee

Officer Ryan Miller shares a laugh with Adrian Amundsen at the River Falls Police Department's first "Coffee with a Cop" event, Friday, July 26.

Twenty-three cups of coffee were served Friday, July 26, to citizens who came to chat with their local police officers.

About 30 people (not all of them thirsty) turned up at Family Fresh’s corner cafe for the department's first “Coffee with a Cop” event.

Patrol officer Ryan Miller, who first brought the idea of Coffee with a Cop to River Falls, said the event went as he had hoped it would.

“I thought it was excellent,” Miller said. “There was a good number of people that turned out, and I think everybody was able just to be themselves.”

Four River Falls police officers were present, including Miller. The others were Investigator Chuck Golden, Sgt. Matt Kennet and School Liaison officer Chris Gottfredsen.

The idea of the event was to help people in town feel more comfortable around police officers. Miller said police and citizens don’t often have a chance to mingle in an informal way.

“I hope that it just brings the community closer to the police department,” Miller said. “I hope that in doing this, not only are they comfortable approaching law enforcement, they get comfortable with reporting crimes.”

Similar events are being held in police departments across the country. The River Falls Coffee with a Cop events are planned to be monthly.

Next month’s Coffee with a Cop event is scheduled for 10-11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 17, at Yo-Joe’s (123 South Main St.).

The officers who will be present have not been chosen yet. But Miller said there will likely be more than one officer present.

Gretta Stark

Gretta Stark has been a reporter for the River Falls Journal since July of 2013. She previously worked as a reporter for the New Richmond News from June 2012 to July 2013. She holds a BA in Print and Electronic Media from Wartburg College.

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