Cops, Coffee and Conversation event sparks talk about tensions
On Saturday, Dainty Maid Bake Shop hosted a communal Cops, Coffee, and Conversation event in South Bend. One police officer explains how this helps the relationship between officers and the community.
This event is a chance for South Bend police officers to mingle with people they patrol and protect and vice versa a chance for the community to really get to know their officers.
Dan Demler, Sgt. in the South Bend K-9 unit and President of FOP 36 experienced this event for the first time. He said events like this really help ease the tension if and when they get called to a scene.
“When we show up somewhere, we’re usually seeing people at their worst,” Demler said. “Now, when we step out of the squad car if they met us before they might know, ‘Hey that’s Dan Demler, not just some south bend police man. So right there, that can already help set the tone.”
This is a chance for the community to realize police officers are people too.
Becky Kaiser, a volunteer at this event, explained that this event helps the South Bend community take a step back and reflect.
“What we all seem to forget, we only call them when there’s trouble. They have families that live in the community with us. They are part of the community,” said Kaiser.
Demler says sometimes people don’t really understand what duties police officers have.
“I mean it’s changed so much through the years. And I don’t think they get what we do so this is a chance for us to educate them.”
Demler adds it’s not only about what they have to say interacting with the community is the second part of the benefit.
“Getting out and talking to people is great. I always say it’s old fashion policing,” said Demler.
Volunteers try to do Cops, Coffee and Conversation every couple of months, but the locations do change. Stay up to date by checking the South Bend Police Twitter page.