On My Soapbox

Attending events such as Coffee With a Cop is a good opportunity to meet and talk to officers and city officials. Photo by Jason Hennington

We all know the old adage, “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.”

Well, sometimes you can’t even lead a horse to water. You can tell it where the water is, but that doesn’t mean it will go.

Why am I so interested in quenching a horse’s thirst? Because, people are the same way. A person can be told of an event that is beneficial, yet that person can choose not to go.

I’m guilty of it myself sometimes.

At the same time, I’m not sure people always see the beneficial side of going to certain events.

An example is the quarterly Coffee with a Cop event.

The most recent was held Wednesday, and had a similar turnout to the others. There were more city staff members and police officers than citizens.

The purpose of the event is for residents to go and meet with officers, council members, city staff and more over a cup of coffee. Not necessarily to fix issues immediately, but to at least voice concerns and meet these people.

I understand that the time of day may not be easy for everyone to attend, but there are other events to meet and greet city staff members.

Most of the time, these events are an opportunity to see officers or city officials in a more relaxed environment. It’s also a chance to get to know more about the people who serve Taylor. Plus, you never know how these people can help you down the line.

On Wednesday, I talked to one officer about sports, and then found out another officer has children the same age as mine. In fact, City Manager Isaac Turner always asks how my children are doing when I see him. Not because he’s trying to politic me (kiss babies, say what people want to hear, that kind of stuff), but because he has seen them with me at different events, and talked to them himself and genuinely wants to know how they are doing.

That’s why I encourage people to attend the different local events. Not just to see city or school officials, but so they can see you too.

With everything going on in this country, it is good to see and talk to police officers and elected officials when it’s not a hostile situation. By hostile I mean during an arrest, drug bust or a six-hour long council/school board meeting.

For those who are saying, “I never know when or where the events are,” I suggest subscribing to the paper. Not just because I work here, but because we often – like every issue – promote local events, especially larger events like the community wide cleanup, festivals, coffee with a cop, etc.

I’ve used numerous columns telling people how to get their events in the paper, so I’m going to steer clear of that for now.

Certain events, you can count on city or school officials to be there. While it may not always be the best time to say, “hey when are you going to fix my street?” It is a good time to say, “Hi, I’m (insert name here), nice to meet you.”

Believe it or not, that can go a long way.

I’m going to get off my soapbox now, and hope I have a great weekend of wins with the Redskins over the Cowgirls and the Spurs over the Lakers on Monday.

“The need for connection and community is primal, as fundamental as the need for air, water, and food.”

- Dean Ornish

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