Opinion

Our Voice: Thumbs up to chatting with law enforcement over a cup of coffee

Coffee with a Cop

To the Richland Police Department’s new community interaction program.

Too often our only interaction with the police are — at best — when we are being pulled over for a traffic infraction. Or, worse, if we have to call 911.

Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to just sit and visit with law enforcement officials, when you’re not in the middle of a crisis or feeling defensive?

The Richland Police Department is implementing a program that has been successful in 36 states and gives residents and police a chance to chat in an informal setting over a cup of coffee.

Success stories from other cities include people being able to ask questions about the law and building trust. It could even help fight crime.

We expect casual conversation will open the eyes of understanding.

The first event is 3-4:30 p.m. on May 7 at Barracuda Coffee, 2171 Van Giesen St.

Clean up crew

To the off-road enthusiasts who sponsored a work party to clean up Juniper Dunes.

Litterbugs puzzle us. We can’t understand why people who enjoy the outdoors, don’t clean up after themselves, yet we see dog poop on Badger Mountain and trash on trails.

Recently several off-road vehicle clubs got together to clean debris left behind at Juniper Dunes.

Justin Linton, president of the Midnite Mudders recently told the Herald, “Over this last year many of us ... have found more trash and debris left out there from people who, for one reason or another, chose not to be a big kid and take it home to dispose of properly.”

Thank you to those who are conscience about taking care of their own garbage and an extra thank you to people who are willing to spend their Saturday keeping our public lands clean, even though they didn’t make the mess.

Trespassing

To the possibility of a difficult-to-define ordinance.

We understand Richland’s concern about people jumping off the docks that are meant for boats and not swimmers. It’s a safety issue.

We also appreciate the several designated swimming areas on the river, and we encourage people to use them.

We have doubts, however, about the idea floated at last week’s city council meeting to charge dock jumpers with trespassing. Since it’s legal to be on the dock and it’s legal to wade in the water, when exactly would the trespassing happen? Mid air?

We’re all for solving the problem, but this seems like an ill-advised approach.

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