Coffee with a Cop: Opportunity to meet local deputies, discuss community issues

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By Mike Le Roux
Special to The SUN

On Tuesday, Jan. 19, deputies from the Archuleta County Sheriff’s Department and community members will come together in an informal, neutral space to discuss community issues, build relationships and drink coffee.

All community members are invited to attend. The event begins at 11 a.m. on Jan. 19 at TARA Community Center, 333 Milton Lane, Arboles. Please contact Mike Le Roux with questions at 731-4799 or mleroux@archuletacounty.org.

Coffee with a Cop provides a unique opportunity for community members to ask questions and learn more about the department’s work in Archuleta County.

The majority of contacts law enforcement has with the public happen during emergencies or emotional situations. Those situations are not always the most effective times for relationship building with the community and some community members may feel that deputies are unapproachable on the street. Coffee with a Cop breaks down barriers and allows for a relaxed, one-on-one interaction.

“We hope that community members will feel comfortable to ask questions, bring concerns or simply get to know our deputies,” said Sheriff Rich Valdez. “These interactions are the foundation of community partnerships.”

Coffee with a Cop is a national initiative supported by The United States Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services. Similar events are being held across the county, as local departments strive to make lasting connections with the communities they serve.

The program aims to advance the practice of community policing through improving relationships between deputies and community members one cup of coffee at a time.