For Jane Summers, a Midwest transplant who made the move to Beverly Hills three years ago, the community has all of the markings of a big city.
The lights. The glitz. The traffic.
But for Summers, who arrived at the Greendoor on Robertson Boulevard for the Beverly Hills Police Department’s Coffee with a Cop event, her newly adopted hometown is more of a tight-knit community than she realized.
“I love living here. It just feels like a small town in the middle of a big city,” Summers said. “I grew up in the Midwest and these types of events are comforting to me. They remind me of what it feels like to be in a small town where everyone watches over each other.”
Beverly Hills Police officers look forward to the quarterly coffee klatch, not just because of the sprinkled doughnuts and third-wave coffee, but also because it gives them the chance to connect with residents who aren’t as vocal, but who still have concerns.
“I’m always looking for the casual observer,” BHPD Lt. Michael Hill said. “These are the residents who aren’t in and out in the community, but we want them to know … we are approachable. It is hard to sum up the courage to approach someone … but, here they can.”
The patio at the Greendoor was lively with residents, business owners and law enforcement officials who were introducing one another, passing out business cards and sharing information for upcoming city events.
Police officers chatted with residents about the ongoing issues with parking, vacation checks, their latest campaign on purse theft awareness and the arrival of the Department’s new mobile app, which allows residents to report issues, concerns, share photos and receive alerts.
“We are always looking for ways to reach out to the community,” Beverly Hills Lt. Elisabeth Albanese said. “Our new app has a messaging that allows us to post alerts to everyone who has downloaded it.”
Rebekah Galvan and Alan Moncada live just down the street from the Greendoor and stop in every morning for coffee. On this Tuesday morning, they were surprised to see the crowd of people and police officers spilling out of the Greendoor.
They were offered coffee and doughnuts and Galvan and Moncada ended up spending their morning getting to know their local Beverly Hills police officers.
A first for both of them.
“It’s nice to talk to a police officer when you aren’t getting a ticket,” Moncada said.
Galvan agreed and admitted the Coffee with a Cop event was a stark contrast to all of the stories she had been hearing about in the news.
“This brings back some humanity between us all. We are all just people talking to one another,” Galvan said. “And there’s cold brew and doughnuts, what could be better?”
Residents were able to make their rounds at the event, talking to detectives, patrol and traffic officers and finally to Police Chief Sandra Spagnoli.
“This event is really popular with the community,” Spagnoli said. “It’s a great way to build relationships with our residents, bring our department together with the community and get information out to everyone. We look forward to these events.”
For more information on the city’s new mobile app, please check it out here.