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‘Coffee With A Cop’ Program Deemed A Success

Hamilton BBQ co-owner Suzanne Zarzour and FTPD Det. Drewry Lea during the “Coffee With A Cop” program Oct. 4.


Franklin police deployed to several sites in the township on Oct. 4, but not for emergencies.

The officers were participating in the national “Coffee With A Cop” program, in which police officers were stationed at various businesses in towns to meet and talk with residents.

In Franklin, officers were sent to the Dunkin’ Donuts on Hamilton Street, Starbucks on Cedar Grove Lane, the Hamilton Street BBQ on Hamilton Street, Kettleman’s on Elizabeth Avenue, Moe’s Southwest Grill on Cedar Grove Lane and Confectionately Yours on Route 27.

Sam Abdo, Kettleman’s manager, said the decision to welcome the police that day was “a no-brainer.”

“We have a close relationship with the town here in general, I feel we’re very intertwined with a lot of different people,” he said. “Obviously the foundation of every town in the police force. They come in regularly, they’re good guys, I know them well.”

“When it was brought up, it was like, yeah,” he said. “It’s cool experience, people are talking to them.”

“It’s going excellent,” said Patrolman David Spakowski, who was stationed at Kettleman’s with patrolman Brian Quigley. “It’s not all about appreciating us, either, it’s about us appreciating the citizens of the town also, for helping us out. Their feedback makes our job easier.”

FTPD officers Brian Quigley and David Spakowski, left to right, with customers at Kettleman’s on Elizabeth Avenue.

“We’re just out here because some people might not want to call the police and bother us with certain concerns that they have,” Quigley said. “So that’s why we’re trying to get out into the public, get to know them, even be on a first-name basis with them and they can maybe address some concerns or wants they may have to help us do our jobs better, or some just want to come and say thank you for your service, others just want to have a conversation with us and get to know us. It’s been great.”

At the Hamilton BBQ, co-owner Suzanne Zarzour said she thought the program was “a great idea.”

It’s good to “help officers to meet with people of the community,” said Zarzour, who owns the restaurant with her husband, Fadi Farah.

Det. Drewry Lea, who was assigned to the Hamilton BBQ, said the program was a good idea because it allowed police officers to talk to residents who “normally probably wouldn’t have the opportunity to talk to us.”

“Some people asked some good questions. I helped them as much as I can,” he said. “They get to talk to the patrol guys a lot more, a lot more than detectives. It’s a good experience.”

“Coffee With a Cop is an excellent way for our officers and the community to come together,” said Police Chief Lawrence Roberts. “We are thankful that we have so many local business owners that are willing to host this event. Events like this give the residents and visitors of the township an opportunity to connect with our officers on a social level.”

“The Franklin Township Police Department is made up of an amazing group of officers who are dedicated this community,” he said.

 

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