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Coffee & police dogs big hit in Lathrop
dog left

Dozens of Lathrop residents got to see exactly what police canines are capable of doing this week at an event that doubled as a meet-and-greet for Lathrop Police Services.

And the dogs were rewarded for their abilities.

In addition to getting to perform for up to 60 people at the event – which took place at the Starbucks on Golden Valley Parkway – the dogs were treated to customized bandanas courtesy of the baristas inside that they wore during the demonstration and got to take home at the end of the day.

As a former K-9 handler and the current Lathrop Police Chief, Ryan Biedermann said events like the one that took place on Wednesday serve multiple purposes – showing the public the capabilities of working animals while at the same time taking away the anxiety of talking to the police.

“This was an opportunity for people to see what the dogs can do, and it’s a chance to continue to build that relationship with the public – they can come ask us a question in a non-traditional setting and continue to build bridges and bridge those gaps,” Lathrop Police Chief Ryan Biedermann said. “It breaks those barriers down a little bit.”

According to Biedermann, events like the one on Wednesday give residents who wouldn’t otherwise interact with police the chance to talk to them in a neutral setting – without any pressing emergency and without the fear or concern that somebody is going to be taken into custody.

They also provide a golden opportunity for the public to share their concerns with the same officers that are tasking with patrolling the streets and protecting the public – something that is invaluable to officers who handle major emerging crimes as well as ongoing nuisance issues.

Intelligence, Biedermann said, is everything.

“We get people telling us about places that traffic issues are happening, but we also get complaints about other issues as well – noise complaints, concerns, things like that,” Biedermann said. “We got some pretty good traffic intel this week which is valuable because often times we’ve already heard the complaints so this sort of verifies them for us and allows us to direct resources – if different people are telling us things, then we know that it’s not isolated.”

Lathrop Police Services, which operates under a contract through the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office, utilizes a community-oriented policing model that is reliant on interactions with the public for effecting policing in the community.

The Coffee With A Cop event that was held this past Wednesday and has been popular in Lathrop with the constituents of the Lathrop Manteca Fire District as well is part of an overall national effort to bring the police and the communities that they serve closer together – founded originally by the Hawthorne Police Department in Southern California in 2011.

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.