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‘Coffee with a Cop’

The Leadington Police Department hosted a “Coffee with a Cop” Wednesday morning at No. 9 Coffee Co. in Leadington.

Leadington Police Chief Dustin McKinney said it was National Coffee with a Cop Day and he thought it would be awesome to get all of his police officers and the community together to sit, talk and answer questions while enjoying a cup of coffee.

“I have all my officers here and we have had a really good turnout so far,” McKinney said. “This is the first time we have done this and we plan to do it annually. Next month we are hoping to do something a little bit different for the younger ones.”

McKinney said they are planning to do something at the Battlefield Laser Tag for youth. He said they plan to have pizza, sodas, hot dogs and other stuff.

Leadington Police officers visit with the community over a cup of coffee Wednesday morning at No. 9 Coffee Co. in Leadington.

Leadington Police officers visit with the community over a cup of coffee Wednesday morning at No. 9 Coffee Co. in Leadington.

“My goal is to show people that police officers are human just like everybody else,” McKinney said. “They can meet us and talk to us and just ask us anything they want.”

He added with it being such a success, they may do it more than just once a year. McKinney said anyone who wants to ask questions or wants to know anything they are happy to answer them.

“Right now I have five officers on staff and four of them are here,” McKinney said of the Wednesday event. “Most of them brought their family and everyone was able to meet their families. One of my officers brought their kids and they were able to play and played the piano earlier.”

McKinney said they recently started wearing new uniforms and he is really trying to change the outlook of Leadington. He said a lot of people believe Leadington to be speed trap and that is not the case.

“I want people to realize we are here to do a job and that we are just people,” McKinney said. “There have been people in and out today and it has been great. Even people on Facebook are giving us good feedback and we have been sharing pictures and video.”

McKinney explained a company reached out to them to provide T-shirts and they even called around and obtained sponsorships which paid for all of the shirts.

“Everyone has loved the shirts and with Trunk or Treat coming up, we will take whatever is left to give away there,” McKinney said. “That will be on Oct. 27 at 5:30 p.m. until we run out of candy in the Leadington Plaza.”

McKinney said they held a Trunk or Treat at the last minute last year and it was so successful they decided to hold it again this year. He plans for it to be even bigger this year and has reached out to area businesses to come out too.

“There will be a haunted house set up and the fire department may come out to serve hot dogs,” McKinney said. “Everything is still being ironed out, but it will be a great evening for the kids.”

Leadington Police Chief Dustin McKinney enjoys visiting with Courtney Johnson Wednesday morning at No. 9 Coffee Co. in Leadington.

Leadington Police Chief Dustin McKinney enjoys visiting with Courtney Johnson Wednesday morning at No. 9 Coffee Co. in Leadington.

Courtney Johnson, of Bismarck, stopped in for her morning coffee at No. 9 Coffee Co. in Leadington and had no idea the Leadington Police Department were having coffee with a cop.

“I think seeing the cops as people is always a good thing, especially with the recent years of Ferguson,” Johnson said. “I also think it is really good for kids to see. A lot of children in the community see officers taking Mom and Dad out of the home. I know that happens everywhere, but I see it a lot here.”

Johnson explained that in her line of work she has been a witness to many things within the county and young children aren’t always seeing officers as good people.

“I think it’s a good thing to get officers interested in doing things like this,” Johnson said. “I know Dustin. We went to college together, and he has always wanted to change things. They have done traffic stops where they hand out gifts, if they hear of someone whose air conditioner went out, they try to help.”

Leadington Police Chief Dustin McKinney sits with Courtney Johnson during

Leadington Police Chief Dustin McKinney sits with Courtney Johnson during “Coffee with a Cop.”

Bismarck Police Department hosted a Coffee With a Cop Wednesday morning at PLS convenience store.

“We had a good turnout and it was very positive,” said Bismarck Police Chief Steven Poole. “We also did Cookies with a Cop at the elementary school.”

Renee Bronaugh is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-518-3617 or rbronaugh@dailyjournalonline.com

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