Police officers connect with community


Matthew Berry

Chief of police Dennis McDaniel and another police officer look at a poster that shows support for the police and fire department. The event was held Friday, Nov, 4 at the Johnston Hy-Vee.

Nov. 4, the Johnston Police Department held their second annual “Coffee With a Cop” at the Johnston Hy-Vee’s Market Grille. Johnston chief of police Dennis McDaniel describes it as the best way to get to know the community better. “There is no agenda, just a matter of personalizing communication with the public, and breaking the traditional way of how the public interacts with the police,” McDaniel said. 

Even though the event was intended to grow the relationship between law enforcement and the public, there was support for officers in light of the recent shooting of two metro police officers Nov. 2. This support is something that McDaniel values greatly. “[The support has been] fantastic, almost over whelming,” McDaniel said. 

McDaniel also believes that the recent shootings can help reinforce the relationship between law enforcement and the community. He thinks that these events show that officers are not different than other citizens. “You are going to see police officers grieving, you’re going to see us struggling,”McDaniel said. “It’s just the same as any other human deals with loss.”

Even with the public support, McDaniel still believes that gatherings like this are important no matter what is happening in the world. “Regardless of what happened this week, these interactions are absolutely critical with the public. It shows that we are all human,” he said.

Coffee With a Cop is held on the first Friday of every month in a different location. The city of Johnston will provide details of each month’s event on their social media page, as well as their website.