By Brandi Makuski
Plover police are inviting members of the public for a cup of coffee on Feb. 3.
Police Chief Ryan Fox said in an effort to break down the barriers between police officers and the citizens they serve, the PPD is launching “Morning Brew with Officers in Blue” next month.
“We used to do ‘Coffee with a Cop,’ we just wanted to create our own thing,” Fox said, adding the name change—which he plans to trademark—offers a “kinder, gentler department, more approachable” environment for members of the public to interact with police.
Fox said that he, Assistant Chief Brian Noel, Officer Seth Pionke, and “maybe a detective or two” will be in attendance for the first outing on Feb. 3, which will be held at Misson Coffee House inside Artist & Fare, 1800 Plover Rd.
It’s one of a few changes Fox has overseen since taking over the department in late 2019. In 2021, Officer Seth Pionke stepped down from his position as a K9 officer to take on a more interactive role, working with local landlords and tenants, and proactively meeting with local businesses, in a crime prevention role. Officer Jeremy Anderson then took over with K9 Karma.
Coffee with a Cop was launched by police officers in Hawthorne, Cali. in 2011. It’s since grown into a nationwide trend practiced to varying degrees, depending on the area. The Portage Co. Sheriff’s Office and Stevens Point Police Department do hold Coffee with a Cop events throughout the year, but they are no longer announced via local press outlets.
“For the kickoff [event], I’m okay if just a few people show up, but I’m hoping it’ll become successful enough that we’ll have to move it to a Saturday,” Fox said, adding his department will hold the event “every other month or so” at the Mission and other locations in the village.
Morning Brew with Officers in Blue will be held Friday, Feb. 3 from 9-10 a.m. at Mission Coffee House, 1800 Plover Rd.