TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) - At a Crosstown restaurant Tuesday morning, breakfast was being served up alongside good conversation between Tupelo Police and the residents they serve.
It was the first-ever "Coffee with a Cop."
From the police chief down, Tupelo law enforcement officers heard some of what residents wanted them to know.
Police Chief Tony Carleton said, "We definitely want to know things that are happening in their neighborhoods. We want to know concerns they may have or problems they are facing."
No speech or presentations were made.
On this day officers just sat down with the public to talk.
Leon Vilhauer of Tupelo said, "It's an opportunity to get to know them other than when getting a ticket or something like that. I think a lot of their dealings with the public are on the negative side. This is a time to meet them on a positive note."
Officers say the job they do is a two-way street, and events like this benefit both police and residents.
Police Captain Tony McCoy said, "You have to have the interactions and the connections with people who live in the community to solve problems. The citizens help us as much as we help them."
The police chief is hoping other businesses around town, like Atlanta Bread, will step up and help make this a monthly event with officers.
From this "Coffee with a Cop," the chief says he got a lot of input.
Carleton said, "There are certainly ideas they're bringing forward such as the gun buy back. Also there have been complaints about traffic that include speeders in neighborhoods. It's those types of things that are encouraging. It's what I want to know."
The chief says he'll be able to take what he gathers here and hopefully improve the services the department provides.