5 Exeter officers talk with residents for Coffee with a Cop Day on Oct. 4
By Reggie Ellis @Reggie_SGN
EXETER – McDonald’s on Visalia Road was swarming with cops on Oct. 4 but they weren’t there to apprehend criminals. Instead, five members of the Exeter Police Department simply wanted to engage in a conversation about their community.
In observance of National Coffee with a Cop Day, Interim Exeter Police Chief Jeff McIntosh decided to hold Exeter’s first of many “Coffee with a Cop” days on Oct. 4.
“People have been coming up to us like we aren’t in uniform and just striking up a conversation,” McIntosh said. “Others just stopped by to say they appreciate what we do for the community. It’s been a really positive experience.”
In one corner of the restaurant, McIntosh and Sgt. Bret Inglehart drank coffee and talked with a few employees on a break. Officer Brandi Garcia listened to a man share his story about battling with Valley Fever while Lt. Liz Yarber and Detective Kevin Phelps talked about dealing with homeless people rummaging through their trash, the importance of having video at your home or business, and how officers use that information to track down criminals and prevent additional property crimes.
In all, five officers including McIntosh were available between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. at McDonald’s that morning. In many cases there is a single officer attending the event, but Chief McIntosh said he decided to bring several officers to ensure that no one had to wait to talk with an officer.
“I wanted to make sure there was constantly someone available to talk with an officer,” McIntosh said. “I didn’t want anyone waiting 15 minutes just to ask a question.”
McIntosh said he plans on holding more of the events and spread them throughout the community at various coffee shop locations. In the meantime, the Exeter Police Department invites community members to call their office at 559-592-3103 if they have questions, to report a crime or offer information that may lead to the arrest of a criminal.