Ventura Police host “Coffee with a Cop” at Simone’s Coffee and Tea.

Chief Shindler and some of the many cops who dropped by to share coffee with citizens. Photos by Richard Lieberman

by Richard Lieberman

A Ventura police officer engages with a citizen.

Ventura police held a Coffee with a Cop event on Wednesday October 4, 2023, from 8:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. Community members were invited to meet with Ventura Police officers and professional staff to share a coffee and get to know local Ventura officers in a calm social environment. It is common for Ventura residents to perceive officers as unapproachable and detached in high stress situations. Having coffee with a cop strives to break down the barriers between officers and the public. The Coffee with a Cop program affords attendees a relaxed one-on-one interaction with Ventura police chief and the officers who patrol Ventura neighborhoods, businesses, and industrial areas of the city.

We do this a couple of times a month we pick a different coffee shop in town we try to get to the east end the west end and the middle of the town” Chief Darin Schindler said. The event gave citizens an opportunity to ask questions, discuss concerns or just have a chat with a cop.” We have been holding these events for at least five years now and we intend to keep this outreach program indefinitely”, added Schindler.

Ventura Police Chief Darin Schindler engaged with attendees discussing police goals.

An attendee Kevin Drescher “I knew the officers were going to be here I am actually on the Ventura Community Police Foundation Board, so I knew about it, and I am huge supporter of the police department and I think it is a great way for the community to come out and meet the great staff at the police department.”

The owner of Simone’s Coffee and Tea Simone stated we were happy to do this, we just love our police department. Our patrons were very excited to participate in the event, we would for certain be willing to do this again,” she said.

In an increasingly complex world, building connections with our community takes an unprecedented importance,” said Chief Shindler “Our goal is always to cultivate familiarity among residents and local businesses, increase trust in our officers, and share essential crime prevention and safety information,” he added.

Customers waiting to talk to a police officer.

Some residents were surprised coming in for their morning coffee and being surrounded by Ventura police officers. Most appreciated the opportunity to speak with officers on so casual a basis.

Almost no police resources were used at this event. Attending police officers were already on duty and encouraged to just drop by and have a cup of coffee before returning to their regular patrols.

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