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A chance to mingle with Newport Beach cops entices public to Mobile Cafe

Lt. Eric Little attends to kids taking turns sitting on a police motorcycle Saturday.
Lt. Eric Little attends to kids taking turns sitting on a police motorcycle Saturday during the Newport Beach Police Department’s Mobile Cafe at Java Cafe.
(Susan Hoffman)
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About 100 people turned out Saturday morning at the Java Cafe for the 17th Newport Beach Mobile Cafe, a casual get-together inaugurated in July 2022 that allows residents to better know their local police.

“We had 24 [people attending] from law enforcement — lieutenants, sergeants, officers from various divisions, [community service officers] and volunteers,” said Lt. Steven Oberon. The majority of the attendees were residents, Oberon noted, and there were more this time around than usual. “It was a great showing,” he said.

Java Cafe served pastries to attendees during the 17th NBPD's Mobile Cafe on Saturday, May 25.
Java Cafe served pastries to attendees during the 17th Newport Beach Police Department’s Mobile Cafe on Saturday, May 25.
(Susan Hoffman)
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The officers fielded questions and listened to concerns raised by the public gathered in the cafe in the Bayside Shopping Center. Although attendees commented on familiar issues such as the proliferation of e-bikes and noise caused by car exhaust systems, the subject that was most top of mind was residential burglaries, officials said.

“Steve initially brought the idea [for a mobile cafe] out,” said Lt. Brad Miller, who partnered with Oberon in event orchestration. “People are free to approach us in a casual environment and ask us anything one-on-one.”

About 100 people came out for NBPD's Mobile Cafe Saturday at Java Cafe.
(Susan Hoffman)

Miller said originally there had been some skepticism about the operation and how it could subject the members of the department to criticism. “But to our surprise, officers love it, and they participate so much more than we anticipated.”

Lt. Steven Oberon is flanked by Java Cafe employees Isabel Hernandez, Fernando Basave and Gabriella Del Gado.
Lt. Steven Oberon is flanked by Java Cafe employees, from left, Isabel Hernandez, Fernando Basave and Gabriella Del Gado during NBPD’s Mobile Cafe on Saturday.
(Susan Hoffman)
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