By Sam Elliott
The Paradise Café parking lot was packed with police cars and nearly half the restaurant was bustling with officers of the Fishers Police Department there to meet with community members and residents during one of the department’s Coffee with a Cop events.
“This is a great opportunity for us to connect with the community in an informal setting rather than a formal meeting,” Assistant Chief and Chief-to-be Mitch Thompson said. “They can just sit down one on one and talk about issues that might need resolved or sometimes it’s a community situation where neighborhood crime watch coordinators want to come in and talk out things going in their community. It’s a way for us to kind of track down and find out what’s going on in different areas and it’s just a great way for us to put our guard down, relax and have a cup of coffee with somebody.
“We find we get community members, Citizens Police Academy alumni who just want to stop back in and say hi and then just old friends,” Thompson added of the non-police attendees. “If you’ve been around here long enough, you get to know a lot of residents and they know this is a great time to stop in and say hi.”