Police enjoy opportunity to interact, educate

Published 6:50 am Thursday, July 8, 2021

Franklin Police Chief Steve Patterson and some of his officers hosted a friendly discussion with members of the public at a Coffee with a Cop event held June 30 at The Hubs Vine.

“I think every opportunity for us to interact with the public and discuss thoughts on policing between both ourselves and the citizens we serve, it’s always advantageous,” Patterson said. “I feel like there was great discussion, had a lot of interaction between those that attended, and like I say, every opportunity we can take to interact with all aspects of the community we serve is a great day.”

Frank M. Rabil, the mayor of Franklin, was also present at the event, and he said that though he wished there had been more public participation, as there were only about 15 people total in attendance, it was good to see the people that were there. 

“I applaud the chief and his staff for making themselves available to the public in an informal setting like that,” he said. “It’s part of his community policing philosophy and one which provides an opportunity for citizens to spend some quality — but yet unique — time with the chief and some of his staff, getting to know who they are but also an opportunity to ask any types of questions or concerns they may have. I think it’s a great thing.”

Patterson said the purposes of events like Coffee with a Cop are interaction and education.

“Every partnership we can build with the community makes the community better, and that’s why we go out there and try to have these events, so we can talk to folks,” he said. “They get to know who we are, we get to know who they are, and that way if you see them on the street one day or there’s a concern, either way, you know each other, you can speak to each other, you have a little history. It’s not a cold contact meetup.”

Now that there are fewer COVID-19 restrictions, he said he and his department are trying to host a morning event one month and then an evening event the next month.

“The reason why we do that is, a lot of people work, but there’s different aspects of the community you can get a hold of,” he said. “If you do one in the morning, you get a certain group. If you do one at night, you can get a certain group, so it’s kind of good to hit both sides and ping pong back and forth.”