DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – After halting meetings because of COVID-19, Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office is sitting down to chat with community members at their first Coffee with a Cop event this year.
“It’s just critical,” said Major Jeremy Roy, who leads community services for the department. “This is critical and I think it’s something that we need and it’s also something the community expects…to have these type of events that, if they feel comfortable coming to it or they do have questions or the ability to come, I think they want that. In return, we want to see that too.”
Part of the significance behind starting to hold the events again, he added, is forming alliances and safe spaces with community members in which law enforcement understands the needs of residents, and residents feel that their voices are being heard before a crisis occurs.
“We’re building a partnership with the community,” said Roy. They are our eyes and ears out there and a lot times when we have these types of conversations with folks that are just kind of off the cuff and not during a critical incident, they’re bringing up things that they see in their neighborhood that they were concerned about, that maybe they just didn’t feel like calling the police [for] at the time and we can have that conversation…If you see something that just doesn’t fit, you know your neighborhood better than we do and those are the things that you need to call us about,” he explained.
While the events were on hiatus, Roy said community members primarily used dispatch and social media to communicate their concerns. However, with the face-to-face interactions resuming, attendees are expected to follow CDC guidelines to prevent spreading COVID-19.
“We would stay with the CDC guidelines and then anything that the business may have that they are going to require. If they’re going to require masks then we’ll wear masks. If they don’t and people who are vaccinated don’t [need to], then we won’t. Anything that the CDC requires us to do, we will do and [we will] also [adhere to] what the business does.”
The upcoming coffee with a cop event will be held at Nutmeg Café on Wednesday, November 17 at 10:00. All community members are welcome.