Building the bonds of trust at Coffee with a Cop in Granby
The last few years have been tumultuous for the law enforcement community of our nation.
Citizen protests and ambush murders of officers have made headlines from coast to coast. But often lost in the pique of these debates is the reality that most citizens and most officers continue to live and work in relative peace and harmony.
The communities of Grand County have largely avoided the problems that have plagued some areas, but despite comparatively strong community police relations, our local agencies are still looking to improve trust and strengthen bonds between citizens and the departments that oversee their protection.
Earlier this week, the law enforcement community of Grand County came together to host its annual Coffee with a Cop event. The event was held Tuesday March 21 and Wednesday March 22 at the Granby Town Hall. The event was an opportunity for the community to meet the officers and deputies of Grand County in a relaxed setting. The event also offered citizens an opportunity to try out the Use of Force and Driving Simulators used by our local departments to help train officers.
The event was informal, with local residents mingling with officers and deputies as they chatted about work, school, the weather and the often mundane realities of life. Young children wandered about playing outside the Town Hall as they waited for their individual turns on the simulators. More than a few local officials attended, including Grand County manager Lee Staab and County Commissioner Merrit Linke, who both tried their hands at the simulators.
Also on hand for the event were the heads of the various agencies in Grand County: Sheriff Brett Schroetlin of the Grand County Sheriff’s Office, Chief Scott Spade of the Kremmling Police, Chief Glen Trainor of the Fraser/Winter Park Police and Chief Jim Kraker with the Granby Police. For both evenings organizers provided a simple spread of pizza, cookies and other refreshments for attendees.
Kremmling’s Chief Spade was happy with the citizen turnout. “I thought it went very well,” he said. “I was excited to see that many participants.”
Spade explained he is particularly looking forward to next year’s Coffee with a Cop as the agencies are looking at holding events in multiple locations around the county.
Fraser/Winter Park Chief of Police Glen Trainor echoed Spade’s sentiments. “In my mind, the Coffee With a Cop nights at the Granby Police Department were wonderful,” Trainor stated. “The shooting and driving simulators gave those who attended the opportunity to see how difficult it is for law enforcement officers to make good, responsible decisions in tense and rapidly unfolding situations.”
While Trainor was pleased local citizens were able to get a somewhat better understanding of the nuances of police work he viewed the interactions with citizens as the most important part of those evenings.
“The best part of the event was the fact that our citizens were able to interact with our officers in an environment where they could see each other as regular people who all care about and want the same things for our community.”
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