GEORGE COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - In George County, there's now a tighter bond between the people who live there and those who serve and protect them. The bond was strengthened with something as simple as a hot cup of coffee and some conversation.
They came by the dozens, ready to get to know each other better. Citizens and cops with the same goal in mind: Better law enforcement and better understanding. Many selfies were also taken.
The support was genuine for Vicki Blue.
"We came to appreciate the officers and all the work that they do and just thank them for putting their lives in danger to protect us and serve this community. They're doing a great job," Blue said.
One of those doing a great job is Officer Monica Smathers. She's been on the job for just three weeks with the Lucedale Police Department but already knows the value of communication.
"It's very important. It's a big thing for everybody because to be connected. If not, then you would have people fighting each other, and you won't have any kind of progress in life," Smathers said.
Some, like Daisy Campbell, came with a mission in mind.
"I want to come and talk with them about my committee called the Watchful Eye Committee. It's a committee that helps the people in the community keep an eye on the kids," said Campbell.
During this Coffee with a Cop, the interaction between the public and the police is very important, but according to police officers, one of the most important things that comes out of this is the input they receive. That's the opinion of Deputy Chief Ronnie Castille, with the George County Sheriff's Department.
"You field some questions from them, and you kind of get an idea about what is on their mind. Things that they'd like to see happen, and we're working on those things. That's some of the things we want to do," Castille explained.
It appears to be working for police supporter Gene Harless.
"I think it's a good idea to come out and support your local law enforcement. I think that's something that smaller towns and even larger towns need in this day and time. I think it's something that should be done on a regular basis," said Harless.
Regular or decaf, Coffee with a Cop was a winner.
This was the second year South Mississippi Crime Stoppers has hosted the event at the McDonald's in Lucedale. The restaurant supplied the coffee and food for those who stopped by.