CRESTVIEW — For some residents, the concern was people biking and walking in their neighborhoods after dark without reflective clothing or flashers.
For others, it was frequent stop-sign violations on their block.
Another suspects a neighboring residence is a drug house.
These and other concerns were brought to the attention of Crestview Police Chief Tony Taylor Wednesday morning through one of the Police Department’s most effective means of communication: face to face over a cup of coffee and a skillet of eggs, grits and bacon.
"We live in a world of instant communications," Taylor said after the two-hour Coffee with a Cop at Hub City Smokehouse. "But sometimes folks find the most comfortable way to get a concern across is over a cup of coffee. I happen to agree with them."
Coffee with a Cop is an opportunity that comes up every two months to chat informally with Taylor and some of his officers over free coffee at a local eatery or coffeehouse.
"People sometimes feel a little awkward going to the police station," Esprit Noffke said after she, her daughter Bristol, 2, and mom, Judy Ogle, met the chief and shared praise for the Police Department’s efforts in the community. "This was a much more relaxing way to talk about what’s on our minds."
The program is organized during even-numbered months by the police’s Community Services division. Officer Wanda Hulion, one of the Coffee with a Cop organizers, said providing an opportunity for residents to share their thoughts with police in a location away from the perceived formality of a departmental visit is beneficial to both residents and officers.
"I think we get a lot of good information at these events," she said. "People just feel more comfortable talking to us over a cup of coffee like this."