Ventura Police Chief Darin Schindler talks with residents at “Coffee with a Cop Day” at Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf in Ventura.
by Richard Lieberman
Recently community members were invited to attend “Coffee with a Cop” a chance for residents to engage with members of the Ventura Police Department. “Coffee with a Cop” presents an opportunity for the community to engage with local police officers, ask questions and get to know the people who protect the community and patrol Ventura neighborhoods. The event was also a toy drive and residents were asked to donate new unwrapped toys which will support the 12th annual Castro Family Toy Drive. All toys are donated to the Children’s Center for Cancer and Blood diseases at the Ventura County Medical Center.
“We typically do this once every other month this is the first time for a year and a half and we are excited to be out here,” said Police Chief Darin Schindler. “We are also doing the Castro Toy Drive which goes to kids receiving cancer treatments at VCMC,” he added. “This is about Community Policing, its about seeing an officer just having a conversation about issues they are having in their neighborhood, could related to crime could be related to homelessness, which is a big one these days, quality of life issues, traffic safety what ever the issue is we will listen and talk and do whatever we can. If it is something that is out of our prevue we will contact the necessary department,” he continued.
Most of the contacts Ventura Police Officers have with the public are during stressful emotion riddled emergencies. Coffee with a Cop gives residents an opportunity to have conversations in a relaxed person to person atmosphere.
“It really brings officers together with residents in a relaxed environment to ask questions and just an easy way to get to know one another,” said Emily Graves, Community Outreach Specialist for the city. Additional events are planned for the holiday season including a toy drive at Walmart. This year, twenty-two local children in need will be partnered with a Ventura Police Officer to shop for gifts for their families this holiday season. On top of shopping together, officers will help wrap gifts and enjoy hot chocolate with the kiddos for fun and festive event.