Coffee with a Cop in Ramsey morning of Sept. 17

Ramsey Police officers Drew Moldenhauer and Melissa Schantzen are hosting a Coffee with a Cop session 8-10 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 17, at the Coborn's grocery store deli. Photo by Eric Hagen

Carol Sather has lived on the same Ramsey street for 54 years and has become somewhat of a neighborhood watch captain, asking people to slow down as they drive through the neighborhood.

Sather shared concerns of people running a stop sign in her neighborhood but also enjoyed sharing how she knew former Ramsey Police Chief Jim Way with a couple of young Ramsey Police officers while she was having a cup of coffee at Coborn's.

Ramsey residents are invited to come to the Coborn's deli, 7900 Sunwood Drive NW, from 8-10 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 17, to meet with Ramsey Police officers Drew Moldenhauer and Melissa Schantzen to share their concerns and stories.

Coffee with a Cop is a chance for residents to meet police officers in an informal, neutral space to discuss community issues and build relationships over a cup of coffee.

"There's no dumb questions or opinions. We're here to listen, not to push any agenda," said Schantzen, who has been with the Ramsey Police Department since she graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2004, first as an intern and as a full-time police officer the last 8 1/2 years.

Moldenhauer, who has been with the Ramsey Police Department since January 2007 and a full-time officer since July 2008 after graduating from Southwest Minnesota State University, became interested in bringing this to Ramsey when reading a newspaper article about an Afton Police officer doing it.

Coffee with a Cop is a national initiative supported by the United States Department of Justice, Office of Community Orientated Policing Services. They even have a logo placed on coffee cups.

Ramsey officers already visit with community members when they have time on patrol, but Moldenhauer likes that this is another way for people to be able to ask questions in another setting besides the scene of an accident or on a police call.

They have no idea what types of questions or comments people will have, but the Afton officer gave them a few tips. He suggested they meet in a central location in the community and not at the police department so it would be a neutral setting. None of these sessions should include a large number of officers so that the public does not feel intimidated. That's why Moldenhauer and Schantzen will be the only officers at the first Ramsey Coffee with a Cop Sept. 17.

"No appointments are needed. Just show up to talk," Moldenhauer said.

There are no Coffee with a Cop sessions in Ramsey planned beyond the one on Sept. 17 from 8-10 a.m. It may become a quarterly occurrence, and the time of day and location may change. This is a trial run to see what level of interest there is from the community.

They already have one fan. Sather said she usually has coffee every Tuesday and Thursday morning with several other ladies and said she would let them know about Coffee with a Cop.

"I think it'll be a good idea," she said.

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