Police showed up at the third "Coffee with A Cop" event at Farmer Boys restaurant on Thursday morning. But 30 minutes into the event - designed to generate positive police interaction with citizens - it was apparent that the public was largely a no-show.
The situation had traffic officer Jason Coley quipping, "Call this ‘Cops with Cops.' "
A number of customers who dropped by for breakfast from 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. did engage with police with positive remarks about police service in Ceres. Rudy and Mary Franke bantered with Sgt. Chris Perry and noted their pleasure with police presence in Eastgate.
"It's doing a great job," said Ruby Franke of Ceres Police Department. "My grandson is a cop down in Turlock so we're always kind of leaning toward them anyway."
A number of people asked Officer Joe Wren how police canine Zeus is doing following a surgery to mend a broken leg. The dog should be back on the job in four months.
"The prognosis from the orthopedic vet is that he should show no physical limitations other a little bit of mobility," said Wren. "They're worried about psychological because obviously it was a significant injury for him but that's kind of my responsibility to get him over the hurdle. He's anxious to come back though. Every time I leave for work he's up hobbling around."
Sgt. Pat Sullivan reported that the coffee gave one young man a chance to ask police how to better prepare for a career in law enforcement.
"He's going through the hiring process and he wanted to know what he could do to better himself in preparation for oral interviews so I pumped him quite a bit," said Sgt. Sullivan.
Deputy Chief Mike Borges walked around the room with a smile on his face, probably due to his impending retirement on March 14. Officers remarked that Borges will likely remain with his hand in department issues.
Ceres police decided to start staging the coffee events as a way to allow community members to ask questions, share concerns, learn more about Ceres Police Department's work in Ceres neighborhoods, and get to know officers. The program has been offered in over 175 other cities because it removes the physical barriers and crisis situations that routinely define interactions between law enforcement officials and community members. The intent is to allow the informal contact increase trust in police officers as individuals.