Police department holds community outreach program


Matthew Gatson | The Sheridan Press

The Hub on Smith assistant of fun Lisa Wells and Sheridan Police Department officer Aaron Hartman have a small-world moment during “Coffee with a Cop” at the Hub on Smith Wednesday, Feb 13,2019. Wells and Hartman are both originally from Maryland.

   The Sheridan Police Department gives back to the community in many ways that larger city police departments are not usually able to do. For Sheridan police, the only quota that the police department has is to have one non-enforcement contact per shift. A non-enforcement contact could be going into a gas station and talking to the manager and having a friendly conversation. A couple of things the officers  do are Coffee with a Cop and Shop with a Cop. 

   Coffee with a Cop has been going on for around five years. This is an event where people can come into the selected location and talk to cops about anything from patrol work to life in general. The main goal is to help some citizens realize that cops are people too that have families. “Coffee with a Cop is more about the citizens and letting them ask us the questions and interact with us in a way that is a positive context,” said Chief of Police Richard Adriaens. Coffee with a Cop was held at Bison Union on Nov. 16, a veteran owned shop that offers discounts for first responders and law enforcement officers. The shop has a lot of regular customers that come in during Coffee with a Cop, and once they see the officers are there, they start a conversation and sit down to talk. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to come and talk with the local cops.

    Shop with a Cop is another event that the police department puts on for kids in the community that are not in the best situations at their home with their family. The school resource officers help align students they see in some tough times with Shop with a Cop, so they can go to Walmart and shop with a cop. The police officers volunteer their time on their off days to go and participate in the event. Around 20 officers usually participate in shop with a cop. Even the chief volunteers his time and his wife usually comes along, as well. Last year, Adriaens dressed up as Santa and his wife dressed up as Mrs. Claus. “My wife and I enjoy the daylights out of it. It’s just fun to be with those kids in that type of environment,” said Adriaens.

   Sheridan’s law enforcement does a lot more outside of their patrols hours to help citizens than many people see. They do presentations about fraud to senior citizens, presentations about robbery to banks and businesses, and many other things to try and keep the community as safe as possible for everyone to live in. “I would just hope any citizen that’s not familiar or feel comfortable around officer should come talk with us,” said Adriaens. “We don’t have to talk about police or law issues we can about anything. It’s all about getting to know each other.”