PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — A recent officer-involved shooting has led to the termination this week of a Pensacola police officer. As we’ve seen in this case and others, officer-involved incidents at home and across the country are at times creating divisions between law enforcement and communities.
The Pensacola Police Department says it’s hoping to bridge those divisions by keeping the lines of communication open. This week, they did that over cups of coffee at the Dog House Deli in downtown Pensacola. At a gathering they call “Coffee With A Cop,” Pensacola police officers showed up early for duty that they say is not about coffee at all, but about community.
Detective Marcus Savage with the Pensacola Police Department said, “This gives them the opportunity to sit down with us talk to us ask any question they want to ask us talk about, any issue they want to talk to us about.”
The deli was packed with people who took the opportunity to mingle with officers. Suzanne Jordan is a local mom who brought her two sons to the event. “I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to bring them down here to interact with the police officers,” said Jordan.
Sometimes during that interaction, folks want to say thanks.
“I just wanted to meet the cops because and thank them for all they do,” Brody Jordan said.
Sometimes, they want comfort, closure or answers about a difficult or controversial case.
“They can ask the questions they’ve always wanted to ask and let them know that hey, you can come talk to us,” Savage said.
Not every question can be answered. But officers say the dialogue itself is helpful and can give insights to the personal side of the badge.
“Situations happen and people take that one negative thing, or a negative thing about that situation, and put it over all officers and it’s not like that. We don’t want one situation to cloud the good work that we do in the community. We are human. We just wear a uniform and we do a job.”
The Pensacola Police Department’s Coffee with a Cop event happens monthly. Check their Facebook page for the latest information on where and when the November meeting will be.