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CENTERVILLE - The Centerville Police Department is now sponsoring a Coffee with a Cop event on a quarterly basis as an outreach program to the public.
During a two-hour session at a local coffeeshop, residents are able to pose questions and express concerns to Centerville police officers.
The most recent Coffee with a Cop program was held Jan. 28 at the Saxby's Coffee on Feed-wire Road.
By varying event times and locations, Centerville police officials hope to attract a wider audience.
"It's designed as an informal session where residents can ask us questions, or let us know about concerns they have," said Centerville Police Public Relations Officer John Davis, who directed the event along with Centerville Police Chief Bruce P. Robertson.
"It's an open forum and a chance to have a one-on-one with a police officer. My whole job is about reaching out to the community and we want the public to feel comfortable calling us," Robertson said.
At the January coffee, residents expressed support of the police and their efforts, while others came with concerns about vandalism in their neighborhoods. Making the police aware of a problem is a priority during the sessions.
Chief Robertson encouraged all residents to protect their property by locking cars and houses, since 90 percent of the thefts involve unsecured property, or automobiles.
Claire Kerr, a Centerville resident and member of the high school PTO, commended the police for the operation of the CSI summer program that allows youth the opportunity to interact with police officers in a non-threatening way.
She also expressed concerns about lack of a left turn signal on the traffic light at Clyo Road and Wilmington Pike and was informed that this would be conveyed to the traffic department that handles this.
The Centerville non-solicitation ordinance, which was recently brought into question following a similar case in Englewood that was struck down by the Ohio Supreme Court due to freedom of speech conflicts, was also addressed.
City officials are currently working on alternate proposals designed to limit door-to-door solicitation.
Centerville police are planning to offer another Coffee with a Cop during the next quarter, which begins in April.