Tysons, VA

Fairfax County police set aside some time today (Oct. 2) to hang out with locals around the county.

The annual “Coffee With a Cop” events are part of a nation-wide initiative to build a rapport with the public by sending police officers to coffee shops to chat with community members.

Over at the Merrifield event this morning, Lt. Tim Field and crime prevention officer Mario Colorado, both from the McLean District Station, fielded questions from locals at Starbucks (8104A Arlington Blvd) from 9:30-11 a.m.

“We are the public face of the county,” Colorado said, adding that the event allows people to approach police in a relaxed environment where they can “overcome the hurtle” of feeling like they are being a bother.

Therapy dog group Caring Angles brought Kyira, a 110-pound Rottweiler with an affinity for lap-sitting, to the Merrifield event this morning. An organization representative said they wanted to support the officers and also educate the community on the benefits of therapy dogs.

Field said he has been serving FCPD for around 33 years while Colorado has served for 22. Both men said they enjoy the event because it gives them an opportunity to visit with community members under happy terms, rather than during an emergency response.

Field said that people often want to talk about a wide variety of topics, ranging from quality of life concerns to fun philosophical ideas.

People will sometimes approach police at the “Coffee With a Cop” events and ask how to resolve personal dilemmas they are facing, like how to help a family member struggling with substance abuse, he said.

For anyone wanting to take advantage of this opportunity, there will be another chance to talk with Fairfax County police at Turkish Coffee Lady in Tysons Corner Center (1961 Chain Bridge Road) this evening from 5-7 p.m.

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