CHP connects with the community over cups of coffee

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The local effort of law enforcement to bond with the people they protect and serve, over a cup of joe. (KFSN)

In some parts of the country, tensions have been high across the country between law enforcement and the community.

Here in the Valley, law enforcement is taking steps to get to know their community.

Some California Highway Patrol officers spent time off the roadway and at Revue Coffee Shop Tuesday morning.

"It doesn't matter where we are, grabbing a cup of coffee with someone is really intimate and it's a way to reconnect with our local law enforcement," Johnny Fisher of the California Highway Patrol said.

Central division officers spent time outside getting to talk with Fresno residents for a special event called Coffee with a Cop.

Becca Gottselig got a latte and a hello. She says she's seen the changing attitude toward law enforcement.

"Just cool to hear about what they're doing and how they're being involved in keeping us safe," Gottselig said. "I see there's a lot of tension I think for law enforcement and for the community. So I think anything we can do as a community to engage with cops and anything cops can do to engage with us is beneficial in the long run."

Officers say events like this allows them just be people and to address concerns, questions or fears people may have.

"Bridging that gap and building the trust back with the community is giant right now," Fisher said.

The Revue Coffee Shop hosted the event to give a safe place for people to share.

"Tower surges with different issues and I think a place to be heard, an opportunity to develop relationships and answering questions is the ultimate thing to kinda break down barriers that might be there," Bryan Feil said. "We want to welcome and encourage and have law enforcement on our side."

Even the owner's children got a chance to meet with the officers.

Officers also hope to educate people about roadway safety, the knowledge that they say can help save a life.

The CHP held about a dozen of these coffee with a cop sessions in December. They plan to do more events in the future in the Valley.
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