Connect with Cops event was held at Ashley’s Ice Cream. The precious police chief started this event as coffee with cops which has now been changed to reach more people.
“Anytime that we can, we have outreach to pay back to citizens. Citizens who pay for what we do, and almost never get a return on the investment because they’re good people, taxpayers, they mind their own business,” Chief of Police David Gilbert said,” They’re not hurting people committing crimes. And yet we spend most of our time dealing with people who aren’t those folks.”
Connect with Cops is the Marion Police Department’s way of connecting with the people they serve and humanizing the cops serving in the police department.
“Often or not, people see police as maybe unapproachable. Events like this show the community shows people in the public that it’s okay to come and talk to us,” Nick McPike, a patrolman, said. “We’re dads. We are sons. We are brothers. We are people, too. And it’s okay to come talk to us, and you know and relate to us some of the same things that you’re going through. We’re probably going through them too.”
Captain Drew Tittle and Chaplin Joe Biddle were grateful that Coffee with Cops had been kept around in concept.
“Anytime we can get out and meet people and see the people that we deal with on a regular basis, building rapport and just letting people know what services we do provide. It’s a great thing for the community.” Capt. Tittle said.
“It’s important just because it helps us connect with a community outside of responding to calls or something like that people would come up and ask us questions and connect with us and put, you know, faces to names and stuff like that.” Biddle said.
Brian Conwell, owner of Ashley’s Ice Cream, was excited at the opportunity to host the event.
“We’ve been wanting to do it for a little while. Just the opportunity came around, and I don’t know, we’re downtown, and so are the, you know, the cops are downtown, and we kind of want to just be part of the community.” Conwell said.
Capt. Tittle said that people tend to think the police are standoffish and only should approach them if they have an emergency. Connect with Cops is meant to help people see that the police are human as well.
Police Chief Gilbert said that they are looking forward to more Connect with Cops events in the future.