PALMDALE – Coffee and cookies sparked conversation and camaraderie between local residents and Palmdale Sheriff’s deputies Friday morning.
The Palmdale Sheriff’s Station’s first ‘Coffee with a Cop’ event was held at the McDonald’s, located at 131 East Palmdale Boulevard.
The event drew a mostly positive crowd of about two dozen, according to Captain Don Ford of the Palmdale Sheriff’s Station.
“Nobody came out with an axe to grind, they just wanted to meet the deputies,” Ford said.
Laughter and chatter could be heard as Ford and about half a dozen deputies and sheriff’s Explorers socialized with residents.
“We talked to several people about our programs, the search and rescue team, our volunteer program, our reserve program, about getting the youth involved in more positive things,” Ford said. “People want the opportunity to get involved, and that’s really encouraging.”
State Senator Steve Knight and Assemblyman Steve Fox were also on hand to meet residents and answer questions.
Palmdale business owner Rodney Ivey said he had no public safety concerns; he simply came out to meet the deputies.
“One of the biggest problems is people don’t get to know them and they really don’t get to know the people, so I think this event is a good thing,” Ivey said. “I know they have a tough job and I have a lot of respect for the police.”
East Palmdale resident Janet Lopez said her 17-year-old daughter, Destinee, has been missing since Jan. 10. Lopez said she couldn’t get anyone to return her calls, so she came to Coffee with a Cop to get answers about the missing person investigation.
“I spoke To Deputy Gilbert and he said he’s going to help me out,” Lopez said, adding that she was encouraged that someone was finally paying attention to her daughter’s case.
Rosalia Tamian said she came out to voice concerns about traffic hazards at Palm Tree Elementary School.
“Some parents don’t respect the roads, they make double and triple lines to pick up their kids and it’s very dangerous,” Tamian said. She said she was satisfied that the officer she spoke with would take her concerns back to the station and have them addressed.
“I gave him my opinions and he took notes,” Tamian said.
Coffee with a Cop is a national initiative supported by The United States Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services. The event provides a unique opportunity for community members to join local law enforcement officers in an informal, neutral space to discuss community issues, build relationships, and drink coffee.
The Palmdale Sheriff’s Station will be hosting its next Coffee with a Cop event on Friday, March 7 at McDonald’s, located at 131 East Palmdale Boulevard, Ford said. Future events will be held on the first Friday of every month and will rotate to different locations, Ford said.
For more information on Coffee with a Cop, contact Deputy Jodi Wolfe at 661-272-2520 or Deputy Ray Wilson at 661-272-2478.