TOWNSEND -- For many people, the only time they interact with their local police is when there's a problem happening.
The situation is only more frightening when you're talking with a stranger. Police Chief Rick Bailey is hoping to change that by having his department participate in National Coffee With a Cop Day on Oct. 4.
Yes, the police will be hanging out chatting with customers in local doughnut shops. Yes, they would probably prefer not to hear jokes about that.
Coffee with a Cop Day allows police officers and the community members that they serve to discuss concerns in a casual forum. There will not be any presentations, just informal conversations about what matters most to community members.
Bailey and members of the department will be at the Dunkin Donuts, 28 Main St. from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m.; Gourmet Donuts, 210 Main St., from 8:45 to 9:45 a.m., and Dunkin Donuts,12 Elm St., from 10-10:45 a.m.
"Oftentimes community contacts with law enforcement occur during emergencies or stressful situations and that atmosphere is not the best time to build relationships between the police and community," Bailey said. "While the department participates in many community events, I believe it is important for us to participate in this national event to affirm our commitment to community input and collaboration."
Coffee with a Cop is a national initiative supported by the United States Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services.
"I hope community members will take a moment to stop in and say hello, ask any questions they might have, and provide feedback about department operations if they would like," Bailey said.