Come on, have a cup of joe with a really good Joe

It’s an invitation to have a cup of coffee. With a cop.

The Sun-Gazette went to the first of multiple events the city police have set up for this summer and found many people taking up the police on this invitation.

The relaxed, informal meet-and-greet allowed city residents to get to know three officers on a more personal level.

This is an important invitation.

Let’s face it, most interactions with police occur for negative reasons. People call on them when they are facing a moment of crisis. People encounter them when they are on the wrong side of the law, sometimes for something as simple as speeding.

The perception of police in the latter moments isn’t always friendly.

Yet the police are people too, people we expect to be there in our moment of need, people who are working in one of the most dangerous jobs in society. They deserve our respect and our support.

They deserve the chance for us to get to know them better. And there are plenty of opportunities ahead:

• Patrolman Damon Cole, 3 to 4 p.m. July 11, Starbucks.

• Patrolman Addison Gingrich, 8 to 9 a.m. July 18, Julie’s Coffee.

• Patrolman Thad Trafford, 10 to 11 a.m. July 24, Alabaster.

• Patrolman Gino Caschera, 9 to 10 a.m. Aug. 3, Dunkin Donuts.

• Patrolwoman Nikita Bonnell, 3 to 4 p.m. Aug. 8, Starbucks.

• Patrolman Nick Carrita, 8 to 9 a.m. Aug. 14, Julie’s Coffee.

• Patrolman Zach Saylor, 10 to 11 a.m. Aug. 28, Alabaster.

So, if you get a chance, stop by your local coffee shop and meet a cop. You just might find a good joe along with that cup of joe.