EMERALD ISLE (WNCT) — The Emerald Isle Police Department hosted its monthly Coffee with a Cop event on Thursday. It gave members of the town a chance to get to know the officers that serve their community and to also voice concerns to them as well.
“This morning we’re having coffee with a cop,” said Emerald Isle Mayor Eddie Barber. “It’s a new program we started several years ago. It’s an opportunity for our policemen to meet with our citizens.”
Coffee with a Cop was held at the Emerald Isle Board of Commissioners meeting room. Because of COVID, this is only the second time they’ve been able to hold it.
“Because of COVID, we couldn’t hold these but we’re cranking these up again,” said Barber.
Officials said it’s important for citizens to get to know their policemen. They say it’s not always easy to approach an officer out on the street. This event creates a safe space for citizens to voice concerns about everything from speed limits and to golf cart rules.
“What it allows us to do is maybe step back and look at things we may need to change,” said Interim Chief of Police of Emerald Isle Police Department Michael Panzarella.
Panzarella said he was happy about the turnout Thursday.
“It’s a huge honor to host events like this, and I am extremely grateful for the relationship that we have with not only our residents full-time and part-time but with those that come and visit our area,” said Panzarella.
Officials said this helps create a better sense of community not only for the citizens of Emerald Isle but for the officers as well.
“I think most importantly it gives our policemen a sense of community,” said Barber.
The event happens on the fourth Thursday of every month. The next one will be on August 26.