Calexico police become baristas for “Coffee with a Cop”

Officer Ruiz from the Calexico Police Department surprises a drive-thru customer at Starbucks on Monday. Photo by Javier Guerrero.

CALEXICO — The Calexico Police Department treated the public to a free cup of joe at Starbucks April 11 in the agency’s second ‘Coffee with a Cop’ event, which aspires to improve relations between the public and law enforcement.

“We’re having this to promote the awareness of what is going on in and around our city.  It’s not only us talking to the patrons, we are also gathering feedback from them about what we can do to make things better out there in our city. Without the community being our eyes and ears at times it would be difficult for us to find solutions to problems,” explained Calexico Police Department Sgt. Legaspi.

As guests began to trickle in for their usual caffeine fix, the unfamiliar scene of police behind the counter sparked the patrons’ curiosity. That curiosity was satisfied by the officers introducing themselves and offering a cup of coffee and a quick conversation.   

Among the various topics being discussed, Calexico Police Department Reserve Officer Ramirez spoke about the types of crimes officers are dispatched to in the city, and the importance of closing communal and authoritative communication gaps. 

“Most non-emergency calls for service in Calexico would be for theft: any theft in general, whether it be the theft of a vehicle, theft of a bicycle, petty theft, grand theft, or burglary. Those are the crimes that come hand in hand with the suspicious activity that is not reported,” stressed Officer Ramirez. 

The importance of citizens calling in suspicious activity is crucial for the police department to become more aware of and in tune to the suspicious activity that occurs. A fast response can avert a theft before it occurs according to Ramirez.

 “We want to see what criminals are doing, what they are up to, and have everything documented to try and prevent thefts.  If people don’t call it in, we won’t know about it.  People need to call for suspicious activity because theft is the most common occurrence,” added Officer Ramirez.

One woman engaged in a conversation with a female officer about the obstacle of being undersized during threatening situations.    

 “I’ve been doing this for over 15 years starting as an explorer, a dispatcher, and now as a reserve. For me it’s always about bringing a bigger person down to your level to be able to interrogate them and deal with them more effectively. It’s important to interact with that person without them knowing that you fear them. I learned that by the tactical body positioning that the academy and my field training officers showed me,” explained Calexico Reserve Police Officer Romero.

“This seems to be the type of job that you have to like it in order to make it a career. After talking to the officer today it makes me feel like any girl, small or not, could do it if they really want to.  Since I’m small too, I won’t be intimidated because I know that I’ll have the training that I need, and little by little, I’ll get that same confidence that she has,” shared the enthusiastic and optimistic aspiring officer.