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‘A chance to meet someone who’s not writing you a ticket’

Times Observer photo by Brian Ferry City of Warren Police Sgt. Jeff Dougherty talks with visitors Friday morning during Coffee with a Cop at White Cane Coffee.

Coffee with a Cop is a chance to meet police officers under positive circumstances.

The event kicked off Friday morning with about 30 people stopping in at White Cane Coffee on Third Avenue to speak with City of Warren Police Sgt. Jeff Dougherty and Chief Brandon Deppen.

It wasn’t a town hall meeting or a chance to complain about a neighbor or a city policy. It was a social time.

“The reception has been very good,” Dougherty said. About 15 people stopped in during the first 15 minutes of the event.

“It’s a meet and greet,” he said. “A chance to put a name to a face. A lot of people see police officers, but they don’t know who we are.”

“It’s a nice thing,” Nathan VanSile said. “It’s smiles and laughs rather than shellin’ out and tears.”

“It’s a chance to meet someone who’s not writing you a ticket,” Andrew Stalder said.

Far from complaining about legal issues, the people who participated were thanking the officers.

“They’re thanking us for our service,” Dougherty said.

There was no requirement that visitors had coffee, but at $1.50 a cup, most did.

There are three more dates set for Coffee with a Cop: Feb. 21, March 20, and April 24. Each is scheduled for 10 to 11 a.m., but the first event went over by almost half an hour.

“On the different dates, we’ll bring different officers,” Dougherty said. “It gives all the officers a chance to get involved. Everybody’s excited about it.”

The event is held at White Cane Coffee. Bob and Vicki Willman stepped in as hosts for their daughter, Erin, who owns the shop.

Stalder suggested that the program might grow to need a bigger venue.

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