Coffee with a cop

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Army photograph by Jason Miller

Left to right: Johnathan Drake, police officer, McGruff the Crime Dog, Mike Gardner police officer, and Wayne Stickels, police officer, during the community event “Coffee with a Cop.”

The Directorate of Emergency Services held a community outreach event Feb. 1 at Fort Irwin to connect with Soldiers, families and the children of the Fort Irwin community.

The event, dubbed “Coffee with a Cop,” is a quarterly event and allows the community, in a relaxed atmosphere, to meet local police officers and emergency services personnel. The event gave community members a one-on-one opportunity to make comments and raise concerns directly to law enforcement.

“Our goal is to just be here for the community so they can come out and talk with us,” said 1st lt. Jacqueline Marks, MP Platoon Leader. “It’s an opportunity for us to get out and see the community and if they have any concerns, we’re here for them.”

McGruff the Crime Dog met with children, while the local police handed out stickers that resembled police badges. The even took place inside Burger King, but DES staff has future plans to conduct the event in one of the parks during warmer months.

Director of Emergency Services, Lt. Col. Brad Fisher, said community issues often go unreported.

“Sometimes, people think they are wasting our time,” said Fisher. “I tell people always call even if it’s something small. If everybody calls when they see something that doesn’t look right, we can begin to establish patterns and, with those patterns, we can narrow down a suspect.”

Fisher encouraged the community to report anything from missing street signs to damaged roadways or sidewalks. Even though it may not be criminal in nature, they can get the issue or concerns to the right people.