‘Cup with a Cop’ an opportunity for community to voice concerns | TheUnion.com

‘Cup with a Cop’ an opportunity for community to voice concerns

From left, Grass Valley's Robert Krueger, Nevada County Sheriff Keith Royal and Sheriff's Capt. Jeff Pettitt, have an informal chat over coffee Wednesday morning at Valentina's Bistro in Grass Valley.
Elias Funez/efunez@theunion.com

From cannabis dispensaries to the homeless and every topic in between, there was no subject too sensitive to be brought up at the second regional “Cup with a Cop” event held Wednesday morning at Valentina’s Bistro in Grass Valley.

Nine law enforcement officers representing four different jurisdictions — Grass Valley Police, Nevada City Police, Nevada County Sheriff’s, and the California Highway Patrol — mingled with members of the community.

“I’ve never seen so many police in one spot,” Grass Valley resident Robert Krueger jokingly said at Wednesday’s event.

Krueger, along with many others in attendance, could be seen smiling and laughing with the officers.

“People have just been saying ‘Hi,’ and being friendly,” Nevada City Chief of Police Tim Foley said. “It’s all been very positive and engaging.”

Foley, who was the original driving force behind the informal meetings that began in Nevada City over a year ago, was happy to see that the sit-downs have included the other local law enforcement agencies.

Valentina’s Bistro, also the site of the first regional cup with a cop held three months ago, is a fitting site, according to police.

“It’s a busy place and a good opportunity for people to meet their law enforcement agencies and approach them with anything they want,” Foley said.

Patti Galle, a local volunteer, was one of those on hand.

Galle, who helps run the Nevada County Pets of the Homeless and Families in Need program, was passing out brochures explaining her organization’s desire to keep pets and their families together.

“There really is no other county that takes care of homeless and their pets,” Galle said.

Some of the main concerns brought up were no new topic for local law enforcement and centered around the local transient community and associated issues, such as illegal camping, and concerns associated with rubbish and fires.

Foley, who has been working on a more holistic approach, described recent accomplishments in developing neighborhood watches and encouraging community policing.

The Grass Valley Police Department was represented by Chief Alex Gammelgard, Capt. Steve Johnson, Lt. Joe Matteoni, and Cpl. Zack LaFerriere. Nevada County Sheriff Keith Royal was joined by Capt. Jeff Pettitt and Deputy Tim Highsmith; California Highway Patrol Officer Greg Tassone also attended.

Nevada City plans to continue with its monthly “Cup with a Cop” event on Nov. 2 from 8-10 a.m. at FoxHound Espresso at 317 Spring St. in Nevada City.

To contact Staff Writer Elias Funez, email efunez@theunion.com or call 530-477-4230.

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