Residents of Williams had the opportunity to share a cup of joe with acting Chief of Police Jim Saso last week while picking his brain on local community issues.
On Thursday, Saso – along with members of the Williams Police Department and the Williams area California Highway Patrol – met with community members at Starbucks in Williams for the city’s first ever Coffee with a Cop meeting.
“We had several people from around the county come and take time out of their morning to visit with us,” Saso said. “There were also many travelers just passing through who joined us which made the experience that much better.”
This type of meeting, which brings together law enforcement and the community in a non-scripted, open forum, has become a growing trend in community policing across the nation.
During the meeting a variety of topics were discussed including code enforcement and nuisance abatement, traffic related concerns and current department staffing levels.
The event was organized by Starbucks staff as part of week-long festivities to celebrate the businesse’s first anniversary.
Starbucks Shift Supervisor Payton Huskey said staff wanted to organize various events that would unite and strengthen the community.
“This is a great opportunity for the community to talk directly with local law enforcement about concerns,” Huskey said.
In addition to providing the location for the meeting, Starbucks also supplied coffee and various baked goods for attendees to enjoy.
“Our partnership with the Williams Starbucks is strong and I’m grateful that they hosted this event and for their donations of coffee and baked goods,” Saso said.
Williams City Councilmember Sajit Singh said he was quite pleased to see the CHP and local police out interacting with the community.
“It was a comfortable setting,” Singh said. “Very casual and made it easy to talk to the officers.”
Singh said he would like to see an event of this kind happen again and would like to get younger kids involved in the conversations as well.
Saso said the department plans on hosting another event of this kind to commemorate National Coffee with a Cop Day on Oct. 2.