(Posted Oct. 12, 2018)
By Sandi Latimer, Staff Writer
Pat Miller stops in at The Daily Buzz in West Jefferson several times a week. On Tuesdays, she’s with a group of friends who enjoy a cup of joe and lively conversation.
But on Oct. 3 when she and her husband, Tom, visited the coffee shop, they had a different mission.
“I wanted to thank them for what they do,” she said, referring to members of the West Jefferson Police Department.
National Coffee with a Cop Day took place on Oct. 3. Locally, West Jefferson Police Chief Richard Hardy and two of his officers greeted customers at the Daily Buzz.
Hardy, sitting at one of the tables, talked about the history of Coffee with a Cop Day, observed this year for the first time in West Jefferson.
It began in Hawthorne, a town in southern California, in 2011 as the police department there sought to better understand the needs and concerns of community residents. Since then, more than 10,000 such events have been held nationwide. They typically take place in coffee shops or restaurants.
“It’s a great way for police to talk with residents and learn what they have on their minds and share with them what we do and how and why we do it,” Hardy said.
West Jefferson Mayor Ray Martin stopped by with a friend. Other village employees took part, too. Public Service Director John Mitchell stopped by. Finance Director Becky Arnott munched on a doughnut while her friend Taylor Patterson from the Water Department chatted with her father, police Lt. Randy Sibbalds.
Jeff and Kandice Lowe from the nearby print shop came over to talk with Hardy about development on State Route 29 and traffic issues.
Jeff told the chief he knows every time there is a traffic problem on I-70.
“I see the increased truck traffic out front,” he said, referring to Main Street/U.S. Route 40 to which motorists often are diverted when traffic troubles arise on the interstate.
Both Sibbalds and his colleague, Officer Casey Conley, said people also stopped to express appreciation for the work the police department does.
“The police get a lot of negative press, but they really do a fabulous job,” said Stacy Trimmer, owner of the Daily Buzz. “They are the ones that people love to hate, but the first ones they call when they’re in trouble.
“We see them a lot,” she continued. “They are nice, professional and good people.”