Coffee with a Cop

Ralph Blackburn, of Yuba City, talks with Yuba-Sutter California Highway Patrol Officer Jeff Larson at Bridge Coffee Co. in Yuba City on Wednesday.

Law enforcement personnel from the Yuba City Police Department and Yuba-Sutter California Highway Patrol shared coffee and conversation in the outdoor patio area of Bridge Coffee Co. in Yuba City on Wednesday morning.

Long-time Yuba City resident Ralph Blackburn chatted with CHP Officer Jeff Larson, both with coffee cups in hand. Blackburn graduated from nearby Yuba City High School in the 1950s. He said he enjoyed the camaraderie and open conversation that Coffee with a Cop provides. Larson echoed Blackburn’s sentiment.

“It’s fun to put COVID behind us a little bit and it’s fun to have real conversations with great people,” Larson said.

Karen Liggett lives in Marysville but felt it was important to come to the Yuba City event to thank law enforcement.

“I come to support them because they deserve to be supported,” Liggett said. “They work hard for us.”

She said community events like Coffee with a Cop help residents realize that law enforcement personnel are human beings.

“They’re not appreciated as much but I appreciate them,” Liggett said.

Yuba City Police Chief Brian Baker, who took over the role from retiring Chief Robert Landon on Sept. 30, was in attendance on Wednesday. He said his first week at the helm has gone “pretty smoothly.” Baker said interacting with the community is valuable for a couple of reasons.

“We want that connection, obviously, but we also usually pick up a couple of things that people bring up as concerns or something that we can further address once we have the information,” Baker said.

Another positive from community events like this is hearing support from community members about the positive things the department is doing in the community.

“It’s nice at these events. We get a lot of compliments about things that our officers are doing good ... For me, in management, it’s nice to hear those good things because all too often all you hear is the bad things,” Baker said.

Mary Page-Molinar greeted Baker and congratulated him on his new position. Page-Molinar has lived in Yuba City for the last 47 years and said she participated in YCPD’s Citizen Academy when it first started in the late 1990s.

“I really was impressed with what they wanted to do and have us citizens be part of law enforcement in a way,” Page-Molinar said.

She wanted to come to the event on Wednesday to see how the philosophy and approach to law enforcement has changed. She said she enjoyed the conversations she had with law enforcement personnel.

“Our town is growing and we have a lot of crime right now,” Page-Molinar said. “... We need to have crime under control and keep our city the way it used to be; a nice small town to live in. It isn’t that anymore.”

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