Coffee with a Cop helping Danville police chief, sheriff connect with community

Coffee with a Cop is latest effort to help connect with community

By Colter Anstaett - Southside Bureau Reporter

DANVILLE, Va. - Sitting at the bar in Ruben's Restaurant Friday morning, Pittsylvania County resident Bruce Barker took time to get to know Danville's police chief and sheriff.

"You get to know them and get to realize they're people, too, just like we are," Barker said.

Over the past few months, Police Chief Scott Booth has held monthly neighborhood walks.

Events have been organized to allow kids to interact with officers and a gang prevention coordinator has been hired.

The goal is to make people feel more comfortable about talking to law enforcement about issues in the community so that the issues can be addressed before they become big problems.

"(I) Found a fellow Red Sox fan, a fellow Patriots fan; made a quick connection. I think it makes a big difference, just getting to know them," Barker said.

Danville resident Joy Biggs approves of all of the efforts being made.

"I think the new police chief has done a lot in the community to meet with the public and try to help with the problems going on," Biggs said.

As for if she thinks the efforts have actually been effective, she's not sure.

"I hope so," she said.

Booth and Sheriff Mike Mondul plan to hold Coffee with a Cop every other week at local coffee shops and restaurants.

"We've had a few people come up and just connect with us," Booth said.

"We want people to know they can ask us whatever they want, really," Mondul explained.

The police department and sheriff's office are fighting crime one question and one cup of coffee at a time.

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