India Kirssin | Staff Writer
Behind the badge, local police officers have a genuine hope of personalizing themselves in the community.
On Thursday, February 25, the Mason Police Department, West Chester Police Department, and University of Cincinnati Health Police Department teamed up to host “Coffee with a Cop” at the Mason Community Center. The goal of this event was to provide community members with a chance to meet police officers from the area and encourage them to ask questions and voice concerns.
While “Coffee with a Cop” is a national program, local Officer Nathan Ketterer created the Mason branch in hope that the program would have a positive effect on the people he serves. Ketterer said the event is beneficial for the community because it creates a relaxed environment that encourages discussion.
“This event in particular is very positive for our community,” Ketterer said. “It gives people of all ages a chance to meet a police officer and also gives police officers the opportunity to meet community members, all while enjoying a cup of coffee. We create a calm, informal, and social environment so that community members are comfortable asking questions or voicing concerns to us.”
Mason Resource Officer Karli Dyer said events like “Coffee with a Cop” are also positive for the police departments who participate in them because of the changing perception of law enforcement in today’s society.
“Police are not just fighting crime but also the perception of distrust and disapproval,” Dyer said. “With a simple events like ‘Coffee with a Cop’, we hope to changing that perception.”
Ketterer said “Coffee with a Cop” events are open to everyone in the community and he believes it is essential for a community to have a strong relationship with the police department.
“Having a healthy relationship with the community is important to us, and we have that,” Ketterer said. “This is a large part of our mission statement: ‘In partnership with the community, policing with honor, integrity, and compassion.’ Officers work hard every day to go above and beyond the level of service that community members expect from us.”