Debbie Gable was on her way to work last week when she popped into Green Bakery and Cafe in Rancho Shopping Center to grab her morning cup of coffee.
But what was supposed to be a quick pit stop turned into a 30-minute detour as she struck up conversations with members of the Los Altos Police Department.
Gable accidentally stumbled on National Coffee with a Cop Day, held by police departments across the country on the first Wednesday in October. The event is part of a grassroots movement whose goal is to connect local cops with their community – one cup of coffee at a time.
“I did 32 years in Yolo County in probation,” Gable said of her past experience in the field and why she stopped to chat on her way to the office.
While the now-retired Gable isn’t an alumna of the Los Altos Police Department, she said the morning still made her feel right at home.
But exchanges like this – and the concept of cops drinking coffee with local residents – isn’t just a once-a-year event for Los Altos officers.
The department tries to schedule Coffee with a Cop a few times a year, according to Erica Ray, the city’s public information coordinator.
“We try to spread it around so we’re hitting up different businesses around town,” she said of the event’s rotating location and goal of working with the local business community.
Officer Katie Krauss said that on average approximately eight or nine officers show up to talk with residents, but the Oct. 4 event drew a larger crowd of the men and women in blue.
She said the turnout was due in large part to the fact that it was also National Walk to School Day, so many of the officers stopped by Green Bakery and Cafe after helping local children safely arrive at school.