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Meet a Nevada City Police Officer at monthly coffee shop meeting

Cofounder of Nevada County Pets of the Homeless Patti Galle, left, has a cup of coffee with Nevada City Police Officers Shane Scimager and Shane Franssen at Java John's Wednesday morning.
Laura Mahaffy/lmahaffy@theunion.com | The Union

Once every month, Chief Tim Foley of Nevada City Police Department spends his morning routine at a local coffee shop.

During the two hours of leisure, the police chief enjoys a break from his usually tense schedule and is often joined by police officers on his staff, local business owners and community members.

Cup with a Cop is a monthly event developed by the Nevada City Police Department so officers can get acquainted with residents in an informal setting and listen to issues of concern. Foley founded Cup with a Cop six months ago as a part of the Community Connect Program.



“It’s our effort to humanely connect with the members of our community who may not normally come in contact with our officers,” said Foley.

“This is an opportunity for people to ask questions they are not comfortable asking in a big forum or to officers on the streets. … When things are tough, they know the officers are trying to do the right things and that we are a part of the team.”Tim FoleyNevada City Police Chief

Over coffee, a bagel or muffin, Foley and fellow officers engage in quiet conversation with whomever takes a seat across from them at a round table.




“It’s a good way to meet the people in the community,” said Officer Scott Clendenen, who moved to Nevada City from Indiana in 2013. Wednesday marked the fourth time that Clendenen has participated in the event.

The issues discussed by attendants vary from meeting to meeting.

On Wednesday morning, topics revolved around homelessness, K-9 officer Rüdiger and community events.

Rodli Crew, a stay- at-home mom, said she spotted the sign for Cup with a Cop outside the coffee shop when she was taking a walk down Broad Street. She decided to check in, thinking she might “learn something useful.” She was worried about the security for kids and families at events during Christmas.

“I’m a little concerned that there might be some drinking after families left,” said Crew, “but it’s not a big issue.”

“Chief Foley explained it very well,” said the 59-year-old Nevada City resident. “He said they’re keeping an eye on families.”

Patti Galle, cofounder of Nevada County Pets of the Homeless, decided to drop in and say hi to the officers when she heard that Cup with a Cop would take place Wednesday.

“It shows that the Nevada City Police Department cares deeply about the community,” said Galle. “They want to hear from the community, to know that they are doing the right things.”

“It’s important giving the recent media climate in the U.S.,” added Galle, in reference to tense relationships between police and the public portrayed in national news reports.

Cup with a Cop usually falls on a Wednesday in the middle of each month. It takes place at a different coffee shop in downtown Nevada City. On Wednesday, the get-together took place at Java John’s, at 306 Broad St.

Shop owner Rita Fuenzalida said this is the fourth time she has hosted the gathering.

“We like hosting it,” said Fuenzalida. “It’s good for them (the officers) to infiltrate the public.”

Once the public gets to know the authority figures, they are less likely to break the law, explained Fuenzalida, adding, “It’s like misbehaving in front of your uncle.”

“This is an opportunity for people to ask questions they are not comfortable asking in a big forum or to officers on the streets,” said Foley. “… When things are tough, they know the officers are trying to do the right things and that we are a part of the team.”

The next meeting is slated to take place at Foxhound Espresso Nov. 18 from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Foxhound Espresso is a new venture at Nevada City and is located on 317 Spring St. Foley said the location of the meeting is tentative, but its time is firm. To find out more, visit https://www.facebook.com/NCPDCA.

To contact Staff Writer Teresa Yinmeng Liu, please email tliu@theunion.com or call 530-477-4236


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