SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — With a recent wave of shootings and other crimes in Sioux Falls, a lot of people have questions about what’s been happening, including some senior citizens who sat down with police today to have coffee with a cop.
Dozens of residents with the Good Samaritan Society got to listen to police officers as part of the Coffee with a Cop program.
But it’s also a chance for them to ask questions.
“Many times a week you hear about a shooting here or there or somebody shooting off their guns,” a resident said.
A lot of questions centered on recent shootings in the city.
“Are they coming in from other places from around the country?” one resident asked.
‘Coffee with a Cop’ is a national program that started 15 years ago.
It’s designed to allow for one-on-one conversations between community members and police officers over a cup of coffee.
“I think it’s very necessary I have grandchildren that are now parents but one of the big concerns are my great grandkids,” resident Joyce Nelson said.
Joyce Nelson wanted to know what are some of the biggest changes they’ve seen in a growing city.
Officer Brady Lieuwen says it’s community outreach programs like this one.
He says these programs build relationships and trust.
“Getting out there knowing the people in your district but also getting involved in different partnerships within the city,” Officer Lieuwen said.
“I think they are doing a great job and I appreciate how they talked about how things have changed,” Nelson said.
Sioux Falls police hold the ‘Coffee with a Cop’ program seven to eight times a year. They also have ‘Pizza with Police’ and ‘Cones with a Cop,’ referring to eating ice cream.