ZELIENOPLE — Police lights and sirens lit up the borough Oct. 19, inaugurating the Zelienople Police Department's first Coffee with a Cop event at the Spring Street Cafe.
Police gathered at the cafe at 9:30 a.m. and mingled with families and residents, showing children the ins and outs of police cruisers and drinking coffee with residents.
Officer Bret Myers said he pitched the idea as a way for the community to get to know its officers.
“I pitched it to the chief and he was all excited about it,” said Myers. “It's important to see people can get out and meet us and we're humans too. We have hobbies and families and lives just like they do.”
A few families brought children to meet the officers. Amy and Mike VanDeusen brought their son, Maddox.
“He's obsessed with police officers,” Mike VanDeusen said. “He's going to be a police officer for Halloween.”
Maddox, decked out in his Halloween SWAT outfit, showed officers his radio, handcuffs and nightstick.
Other families and residents came. Many thanked officers for their service.
Myers said these events are important for residents and officers to better understand one another.
“I think it's really important we get the community involved,” he said. “We need it now more than ever, community relations.”
The department plans to host these events every year and hopes it grows, he said.