Coffee with Cops: Troopers field questions at Seymour coffee house


Two organizations that use sirens came together for coffee Tuesday morning on the east side of Seymour.

The sirens used by the two bore no similarities.

One illustrates the mythical beast in green ink on Starbucks white cups while the other created by state troopers alerts those on the road of emergency situations.

During "Coffee with a Cop," patrons who pulled up to the drive-thru window, or came inside, between 10 a.m. and noon,were greeted by one of multiple troopers.

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Those officers fielded questions from the public as well as helped out the staff at the coffee house on East Tipton Street.

"We support our police officers and they support us," Starbucks shift manager Anita Zahnd said. "I’ve wanted to hold an event like this for about two years. It just hadn’t worked out yet. I was very excited when I found out we could do this.

"I think with our society right now, there is some animosity toward police officers and the public. They’re out making connections, and I think that’s great for everyone."

The troopers also participated in a coffee tasting, did some food pairings and helped out with the drive-thru orders, Zahnd said.

Trooper Edward Olivo, who spearheaded the idea for the event, said the state police held an identical event at a Starbucks in Bartholomew County last week, and he plans on having similar events in the future.

"We’re able to interact with the customers and are able to answer any questions they have," Olivo said. "We want to connect with our communities. We want to be partners with our community members and be available to them."

Sgt. Stephen Wheeles, public information officer for the Versailles Post, said troopers are asked a multitude of questions at the events.

"In this area, we’re dealing with a lot of construction and crashes," he said. "People want to know the progress on it and how to stay safe in the construction zones. We talk a lot about that.

"The drug problems in our community are also a big one. People want to know what we’re seeing. We tell people what we, the state police, and people from other agencies are doing to tackle the problems."

Wheeles said the state police are always looking for ways to improve communication with the public.

"I think it’s always good to give people a chance to talk to us," he said. "I think a lot of times see us when we’re on call, or during an investigation, and we’re busy. It was a good opportunity to field questions and tell them a little about what we do and see on a daily basis."

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