CALEXICO- In the courtyard outside of Holtville City Hall, on a pleasant 75 degree morning, the Holtville subsection of the Imperial County Sheriff’s’ department set up coffee, cupcakes, and doughnuts to share with the community.
The event, Coffee with a Cop, is the first of its kind in Holtville. In 2010 the city contracted the Imperial County Sheriff’s Office to provide professional police work for the town.
Imperial County Sheriff’s Office, Sergeant Robert Benavidez, is Holtville’s current chief of police. He has been at the Holtville substation as a deputy for three years and a Sergeant for the last six months.
Patrons gathered to get a pulse of the local criminal activity as well as clarity on various municipal codes of the city.
“Since this is such a tightly knit community the most frequent call is that of our basic citizen noticing something out of the normal and reporting suspicious persons or suspicious circumstances,” stated Sergeant Benavidez.
“It’s good to know the local laws; there’s been times when I parked something that didn’t belong on the street, and 72 hours later I’m getting asked to move it,” commented 70-year old Holtville native, Gerald Hughes.
“We always cooperate because the deputies address us warmly and respectfully,” added Hughes.
Amongst the officers meeting and greeting the public was Senior Deputy Acuna who recently transferred to Holtville on September 16 via the Winterhaven substation.
“We support the Sheriff’s Department here in Holtville. We like this community, and we want to meet all of the officers we can. So if we have any more questions we can go directly to them, as opposed to going higher up, and then eventually getting sent back down to the officer anyway,” reasoned Hughes.
“It’s important to find out what the public’s concerns are so we can be a bit more a breast of things. They have more eyes and ears than we do. Any and all help that they can provide to us will also indirectly help the community and citizens of the city,” stressed Sergeant Benavidez about the significance of the people interacting with local law enforcement eye to eye.