Despite a chilly morning, several residents showed up for Atlantic City’s first “Coffee with a Cop” event held Friday in the city’s Westside.
“I thought it would be nice to meet just one officer, but they’re all here,” Sharone Brown-Jackson said.
“It’s great,” said Sylvester Showell, who has lived in the area for 40 years. “They’re answering any questions that you have.”
The event is part of the department’s efforts to reach out to residents and make community policing about every officer, Chief Henry White said.
People were able to point out specific problems and what they believe it needed there, said Mayor Don Guardian, who also attended the two-hour event hosted by the Westside Neighborhood Protective Association.
Now a Pleasantville resident, Brown-Jackson said she was on her mother’s porch in the 500 block of North Indiana Avenue when she witnesses a drive-by shooting last summer. Her mother still lives in the home where Brown-Jackson and her sister Peaches Brown grew up.
“Make sure you give a shout to Hank,” Peaches Brown said of Officer Hank Davis, who patrols the area.
The sisters said he always watches out for problems and makes sure areas are clean.
Association President Dennis Konzelman and his partner, defense attorney Jeff Wilson, let their garden be the site of the first event.
Later, the coffee talks could likely move inside to businesses willing to host the gatherings, Sgt. Monica McMenamin said.
“They’re doing a good job,” said Senny Lilia, who has lived in the Westside for about eight years. “When you see the police pass by, they acknowledge you, and that’s important.”
“This is what it’s about,” said Officer Bob Berg, after talking with two residents about how to anonymously report crime.
“I showed them how to use our tip411 system,” he said. “They have a lot of important information. This is part of why we do this.”
A sign near where the danish were set up also explained how to use the system, which allows people to have a text conversation with police anonymously. They can text tip411 (846411) and begin the text with ACPD.
Police also are sitting down with schoolchildren for Pizza with Police. Papa John’s and Tony’s Baltimore Grille so far have donated pies for the first two of those events.
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