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By Gail M. Williams
Muleshoe Journal Correspondant

Coffee with a Cop will take place from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 19, at MacDonald’s.
“It’s an informal time for the community to come out and interact with the police department,” said Chief Gary McHone of the Muleshoe Police Department.
Coffee with a Cop began in March 2011 in Hawthorne, California. Since then it has spread to all 50 states and several nations around the globe.
In Muleshoe, the event takes place every three or four months.
“We always get a strong turnout,” McHone said. “It’s a chance for the public and officers to come together and visit over a cup of coffee in an informal setting, to learn more about each other. Coffee with a Cop helps break down barriers between the police and the community they serve.”
Children are welcome and encouraged to come.
“We have handouts for the kids,” McHone said.
In addition to the Muleshoe Police Force, Coffee with a Cop can also include representatives from the school district, EMS, the Department of Public Safety, neighboring police departments and the sheriff’s department.
Last year, the department held its first UNIDOS meeting. UNIDOS is an opportunity for Hispanic outreach. The police department plans to have two UNIDOS meeting in the coming year. Other opportunities for police and community interaction are National Night Out and Red Ribbon Week.
At this time, the police department is gaging public interest for the city and Bailey County to present a Citizens Police Academy. The 10-12 week program is an abbreviated version of what it takes to go through the police academy.
“Officers and law enforcement folks, including district attorneys, game wardens, bomb technicians and Homeland Security folks act as instructors,” McHone said. “It’s a good program that gives insight into what it takes to go through an abbreviated version of the police academy. Exercises and drills are also part of the instruction.”



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