CANANDAIGUA — For the first time, law enforcement agencies in Ontario County will take part in the national Coffee with a Cop Day.
The local Coffee with a Cop is scheduled from 4-6 p.m. Oct. 2 at the Canandaigua Wegmans. Members of the sheriff’s office, Geneva and Canandaigua police departments, and New York state police will be on hand.
The event is organized by Back the Blue, a program of the Ontario County Police Benevolent Association. Donna Schaertl, event coordinator for Back the Blue, said while this will be the fourth Coffee with a Cop Day on a national level, it’s the first time Ontario County law enforcement will participate.
Local officials hope to make it an annual event. While people can discuss police matters, they can talk about any topic — from traffic to sports.
“Programs like Coffee with a Cop provide an opportunity for police officers and community members to make personal connections with one another, fosters open dialogue and enhances community trust in local law enforcement,” Canandaigua Police Chief Stephen Hedworth said.
“I look forward to the Ontario County Office of Sheriff being part of the Coffee with a Cop program,” Sheriff Kevin Henderson added. “These events will allow those in the community to have interactions with members of this office and other law enforcement agencies, building trust, partnerships and positive officer-citizen engagements.”
"Coffee with a Cop is an amazing opportunity for the agencies involved to sit and talk with the members of the community. Having events such as this help the communities which we serve to get to know us on a personal level, beyond the uniform, to build trust and have positive interactions," Geneva Police Chief Mike Passalacqua said. "I am excited to have the Geneva Police Department be a part of this important event."
Local officials are encouraging community members of all ages to stop by for refreshments provided by Wegmans.
Schaertl noted that all agencies may not have representatives on hand for the entire two hours.
“Officers and deputies representing their agencies are mostly part of the road patrols, and the needs in the county will dictate their participation,” she said.