MARYSVILLE – If you thought Marysville police would be roasted at their new Coffee with a Cop events, think again.
Cmdr. Mark Thomas said after their fourth one Wednesday on National Coffee with a Cop Day that most of the people come to show support for police.
“To show we care,” he said of participants.
Thomas said local police appreciate that. Nationally, and even as close as Seattle, cops are not as well respected. Many communities seem to be anti-police, anti-government, anti-authority, he said. But not here. “People appreciate that we are approachable and willing to engage,” he added.
Thomas said at each coffee there has been about two dozen people and between eight and 11 officers. He said it’s good for the officers to see all the support, since most of their time is spent dealing with criminals.
Thomas said when the MPD started the program he expected up to 50 percent of people to complain about crimes in their neighborhoods or other problems. But that’s only been about 10 percent. The rest are there to show support.
Thomas said that’s one of the reasons police like to work here. He said in 27 years, he’s only seen six officers leave the force, and three of those have come back. Also telling is that 52 percent of the force made lateral moves to come here because they heard from other police what a good place it is to work.
That’s 71 officers, he said. Because they are experienced, they don’t have to go to the academy, so they can be out on the streets quicker.
“That’s says a lot” for the department, he said.
Cmdr. Jeff Goldman said he likes the coffees because they are an open forum with no agenda. People just get to meet with officers and talk in casual conversations. Goldman said he has answered questions on everything from the medical examiner’s website to why do we need traffic circles?
Thomas said the most complaints he’s heard about concern traffic – whether it be people disobeying laws or congestion. He takes the information to the mayor’s Traffic Safety Committee, which decides if there needs to be a traffic emphasis at a certain location.
He said there haven’t been any tips received on major crimes yet. But there have been leads on helping homeless and addicts that have been given to the embedded social worker team.
Whistle Stop co-owner Lynn Reid ended the event with a prayer for police and to those who are addicted or contemplating suicide, and more.
Of the police, she said, “They are making a difference and taking back our community.”