Locals sipped lattes with law enforcement officials and shared their thoughts on public safety with Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station Capt. Todd Deeds during a “Coffee with the Captain” get-together Thursday, Aug. 29 at a La Cañada Flintridge Starbucks.
The patio of the coffee shop on the 2200 block of Foothill Boulevard accommodated a group of about 20 citizens and supporters, sheriff’s deputies, lieutenants and, of course, the captain himself.
Although the idea of captains and citizens meeting over mochas is not a new concept throughout the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department 3,171-square-mile territory, Thursday’s meet-up was a first for Deeds, who came to the station in late May.
“This is just about interacting with the community and making sure the station and its personnel are accessible to the public,” he said, taking a pause from his pumpkin spice latte cold brew and picture poses with attendees. “We want people to know we’re accessible and we’re here to serve.”
La Cañada resident Connie Alamdari said she came out to Starbucks to meet some of the local sheriff’s personnel and thank them personally for their service to the community. When her own Commonwealth Avenue home was burglarized several years back, she chased out the suspects and was grateful that backup came so quickly.
“In less than five minutes everybody was out there,” the retired nurse recalled. “Everybody was there — there was a helicopter — the whole team was there.”
Beverly Craig, pastor of La Crescenta’s Center for Spiritual Living and a longtime chaplain with the Crescenta Valley station, hosted the event to help further introduce Deeds to members of the public who might not otherwise have cause to interact with the station leader.
“I thought, you know, we’ve got a new captain, and he’s such a nice man,” said Craig, whose own son has worked for the department for 29 years. “I support these guys, I pray for them every day. I just wanted to help get the community to support local law enforcement.”
Community services officer Dep. Alex Covian said “Coffee with the Captain” is a longstanding tradition of the department and a valuable one, as it creates a more relaxed environment for people who want to share ideas and concerns with the station’s top brass.
“Normally people see us rolling around in black and white patrol cars — for certain people there can be a negative connotation to that,” Covian said. “Here, if they want to come by and say hello or ask us a question they can come by and have a cup of coffee.”
An hour into Thursday’s coffee klatch, and halfway into his cold brew, Deeds reported the event was so far a resounding success.
“There have been some residents who’ve come by and shared concerns and others who’ve come by with support — it’s terrific,” he said.
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