Wow! What a great way to start a day! Because of the weird hours I put in publishing this infernal blog, I don't usually see sunrise, but today was special. Today I dragged my old carcass out of bed in time to visit the McDonald's store on Harbor Blvd. for the first Coffee With A Cop event.
I arrived early, but not earlier than this cadre of Costa Mesa's finest who had already arrived in anticipation of greeting McDonald's visitors and being available for conversation.
A GOOD TURNOUT
The best guess I heard shortly after 10 a.m., when the event was theoretically over and just before I departed, was that more than six dozen folks enjoyed coffee on the CMPD - I was one of them - and several more spent time visiting with the officers who had taken time out of their busy day to meet with residents and others and to listen to them.
CMPD LEADERSHIP ON BOARD
At one point it seemed like Chief Tom Gazsi and the entire command staff was present - good thing no crimes were being committed during those couple hours, huh?
Local political candidates made appearances. Tony Capitelli showed up early, then left for work in Congressman Dana Rohrabacher's office.
Jay Humphrey showed up with grand kids in tow - and astride.
WENDY MADE IT, TOO
Councilwoman Wendy Leece was the only current member of the City Council or either of the commissions to show up. Not surprising, since the council majority and many of their appointees have, shall we say, a "strained" relationship with the CMPD. I did see majority supporters Tea Party Tom Pollitt and Jeff Arthur, though.
AN EXCELLENT EVENT
From my perspective and based on conversations I had - I was there for more than two hours - it seemed like the folks who had a chance to visit with one or more of the officers appreciated their presence and answers to their questions. It was a terrific opportunity for the members of the CMPD to have non-stressed, non-confrontational encounters with members of the public. With the diminishing of staffing levels over the past few years, those opportunities are fewer and farther between these days.
Thanks to the CMPD and McDonald's for hosting this event. I'm looking forward to many more.