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'Coffee cops' address seatbelts, domestic violence, x-box

Coffee with a CopLast Wednesday, Jan. 6, roughly 25 citizens showed up at Maggie's Buns for what Forest Grove Police Department Capt. Mike Herb calls the most successful Coffee with a Cop so far.

"We were never left with a moment where we didn't have someone wanting to talk," Herb said.

The FGPD hosts the community event every three months, hoping to spark conversations with city residents in a non-emergency setting. The event has evolved since it started in April 2014, Herb said.

"The questions have become more complex and inquisitive," he said. And many people talk about how much they appreciate Coffee with a Cop.

As usual, this CWAC included some traffic questions: Yes, a driver can get cited for passengers who aren't wearing their seatbelts — if the passengers are children. If they're adults, the passengers — not the driver — get the citations.

And people brought up a variety of other topics:

n How the warming center for homeless people at the Forest Grove United Church of Christ is doing this winter.

n How to handle a troubling domestic situation.

n What officers think about the Harney County standoff between armed militiamen at the Malheur Wildlife Refuge and county, state and federal law enforcement officers. ("It would appear that several folks may be breaking the law by breaking in and occupying a government-owned facility without permission," Herb said. "If this is the case, I would think that they would face consequences for those actions.")

Some parents also brought their children in to meet officers. That's an important part of the event, said Herb, who remembers a girl asking an officer several important questions: What were his favorite basketball, baseball and football teams — and his favorite x-box game?.

The officer then asked what her favorite toy was, Herb said.

"The Frozen girl doll," she said, describing it as her best Christmas gift.

The next Coffee With a Cop will be April 6 at the McDonald's on Pacific Avenue.