JACKSON, MI (WLNS) – What would you ask a police officer if you had the chance?
Jackson residents had that very opportunity Thursday at Jackson’s first ‘Coffee with a Cop’ event.
“Even if we just get one question answered or somebody comes in and maybe feels a little bit different about us, that’s a successful day for me,” said Daniel Bowman, trooper, Michigan State Police.
It’s a nationwide program now in mid-Michigan. Coffee with a Cop gives the community and police the chance to meet and greet.
Thursday’s event happened in a town where police and community relations are a hot topic. Earlier this month the community gathered to discuss race relations at a Jackson church.
“Obviously a different atmosphere here, but I want them to be similar in nature; it’s a simple fact that we derive our authority from the public so we have to be available to address their concerns,” said Matthew Heins, director, Jackson Police and Fire Services.
In this setting, people from the community had the chance to discuss with officers anything from neighborhood watch to carrying a firearm, all the while building relationships.
“So far it’s just what I and other citizens can do to try and live a little bit more safely,” said Jenice Carter, Jackson.
The small venue allowed for one-on-one conversation
And visitors had the chance to talk with officers from city, county, and state police
“I’ve had a few conversations I’m not sure they were concerns as much as they were questions about how do I do this or how do I do that so more of a resource at this point than addressing concerns”
For Jackson, there’s more to come. The Michigan State Police said they hope to have as many as four meet and greets this year.