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St. Paul RCMP getting to know the community one coffee at a time

Casual conversations, on a topic of any kind, is what the St. Paul RCMP members hoped to accomplish with their Coffee with a Cop program.

ST. PAUL – It was cozy and warm – the smell of fresh coffee wafting throughout the restaurant – as the sound of the occasional clinking of cups filled the air. 

In the middle of the room, sat some members of the community, chatting with a couple of RCMP officers. 

“My son has been in the military for... I think it’d be 20 years,” said one of the residents. “Anyway, he’s said he wanted to quit the military and join the RCMP. I said the military is safer,” he joked with a laugh.  

It was this kind of casual conversation, on a topic of any kind, that St. Paul RCMP members hoped to accomplish with their Coffee with a Cop program. 

They held the gathering of a three-month pilot project on Jan. 30 at the St. Paul A&W. RCMP even bought the coffee for those who stopped to chat. 

Cpl. Colleen Skyrpan, a member with the St. Paul RCMP detachment, said taking time to talk with people has been good.  

“It’s really interesting,” she said, noting the man who talked about his son for example, and who also told them his life’s story. 

Sgt. Bobby Burgess, operations NCO for the Town/County of the St. Paul RCMP, agreed. 

“There’s been a few people that have stopped already, talking about files and asked some questions about investigations,” said Burgess. “But the majority of our conversations have just been getting to know people and them getting to know us.” 

And that is the whole point of the program, Burgess said, before glancing behind him, bidding goodbye to someone walking toward a door. 

Burgess said they will be back at A&W again on Feb. 27 - and hopefully more in the future. 

“We will probably keep doing it until people stop showing.” 

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