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Coffee with a cop

by: NEWS-TIMES PHOTO: DOUG BURKHARDT - With all the police officers in BJs Coffee last Wednesday morning, it could have been a crime scene- - except for the smiles. Im pretty thrilled, said Forest Grove Police Chief Janie Schutz, who led the departments inaugural Coffee With a Cop. The event drew compliments, questions and friendly hellos from Forest Grove residents.One man wanted to know what he should do when he’s riding his horse down Stringtown Road and a car whizzes past dangerously.

Another wanted to talk about Safeway’s outdoor loudspeaker. It’s so loud it bothers him in his nearby home, he said.

“This is what we wanted,” said Forest Grove Police Capt. Mike Herb, who joined Chief Janie Schutz at their inaugural “Coffee With a Cop” session last Wednesday morning at BJ’s Coffee from 7 to 9 a.m.

The idea was to hear people out on those nagging issues that don’t necessarily merit a trip to the police station or a phone call to an officer.

But that wasn’t the only reason people stopped by. Several wanted to compliment a particular officer who had helped them in some way or, in one case, handled a traffic stop well.

Forest Grove Planning Commission Chairman Tom Beck took the opportunity to formally introduce himself to Schutz after crossing paths with her at many meetings.

“This is a terrific idea,” he said.

Forest Grove resident David Johnson agreed. The 67-year-old happened to be in BJ’s when the officers showed up and he chatted with Schutz about North Carolina, where both have connections.by: NEWS-TIMES PHOTO: DOUG BURKHARDT - With all the police officers in BJs Coffee last Wednesday morning, it could have been a crime scene- - except for the smiles. Im pretty thrilled, said Forest Grove Police Chief Janie Schutz, who led the departments inaugural Coffee With a Cop. The event drew compliments, questions and friendly hellos from Forest Grove residents.

“I was glad to have the opportunity to meet her,” Johnson said.

It wasn’t like people were lining up to talk, but Schutz still proclaimed the event “a success,” especially for its first time out.

The department’s entire day shift joined her there and she hopes friendly conversations with an officer or two will help people feel more comfortable about calling police if they hear or see something that might be of interest.

Schutz initially planned to have these community chats quarterly, but is thinking about making them monthly, in different places and at different times of day, perhaps even on weekends.

“If somebody were to invite me into their home, I’d do it there,” she said.

To invite the chief over for a group chat, call the police department at 503-992-3260 and ask for a community service officer.



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Forest Grove

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