McKINLEYVILLE – Staff with the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office and Sheriff Honsal himself enjoyed a cup of Joe with community members at the organization’s first ever Coffee with a Cop.
McKinleyville Resident John Calkins said these opportunities are important because “if you know the sheriff and you have a feeling about them as a human being, you trust them to act in a way that’s responsible.”
Representatives of Neighborhood Watch and the Office of Emergency Services joined McKinleyville’s resident deputies at Starbucks to answer questions and get to know the community.
Locals said they appreciated the range of law enforcement’s responsibilities. That increasingly includes caring for mental well being as much as physical safety.
Others expressed concerns over an increase in theft and the perception that criminals are lurking around town, waiting to strike.
Both those in attendance and law enforcement said events like Coffee with a Cop emphasize the importance of getting the whole community invested in finding solutions to ongoing issues.
Humboldt County Sheriff William Honsal said, “We have 4,000 square miles. We have a big jurisdiction but the people that are dedicated to McKinleyville, the deputy sheriffs, are like small town cops. They’re here. They want to be bothered with the small details. They want to know about the big stuff and the little stuff and they’re here to help.”
Captain Kym Thompson added, “Sometimes those things don’t filter up to our level and I think that we really need to be able to understand the concerns of the community in order to help us address those.”
While this was the organization’s first Coffee with a Cop, it won’t be the last. The office will plan similar events in Willow Creek and Garberville in the coming months.