In an effort to meet with the public in a friendlier, more relaxed atmosphere, law enforcement agencies throughout Miami-Dade and Broward held meet-and-greets at 21 McDonald’s locations Wednesday morning.
Officers from Miami, Miami Beach, Miami Gardens, Doral, Miami-Dade police and Miramar chatted with locals over a cup of joe during what they called #CoffeeWithACop.
A few dozen Miami Beach residents came out to the McDonald’s on Alton Road and 16th Street in South Beach for the two-hour event.
“Every resident had different priorities,” said Valerie Navarrete, a West Avenue resident. “We talked about different subjects like traffic, the homeless, noise and speeding on Alton Road and West Avenue.”
Neighborhood cops rubbed shoulders with the community. Deborah Martineau, a South Beach neighborhood resource officer, said the encounter was educational for her and the residents as well.
“I hope we do more of these throughout the city,” she told the Miami Herald. “This type of communication and networking is great.”
Miami Beach police spokesman Ernesto Rodriguez said several people he spoke to said they were surprised to see police interacting with folks casually.
“Nine times out of 10, when you have an interaction with police officers, usually someone’s done something bad, or there’s an arrest being made,” Rodriguez said. “But to come to a neutral location like a McDonald’s and just have coffee and conversation — it was received so well.”