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home : columnists : columnists October 22, 2017


10/6/2017 4:00:00 AM
New Coffee with a Cop
Photo provided by the City of NoblesvilleNoblesville Police Department Sgt. Matt McGovern, coordinator of NPD’s new Coffee with a Cop, visits with a family at Wednesday’s first-time Coffee with a Cop event at Noble Coffee & Tea. NPD’s chief Jowitt (standing back right) chats with other attendees.
Photo provided by the City of Noblesville

Noblesville Police Department Sgt. Matt McGovern, coordinator of NPD’s new Coffee with a Cop, visits with a family at Wednesday’s first-time Coffee with a Cop event at Noble Coffee & Tea. NPD’s chief Jowitt (standing back right) chats with other attendees.

By Betsy Reason
Editor


About 10 officers from Noblesville Police Department showed up Wednesday morning at Noble Coffee & Tea.

For those who hadn't heard, the gathering was for NPD's new Coffee with a Cop.

Rather than being a formal program with an agenda, the first-time event offered the community an opportunity to talk to NPD officers one on one.

Some attendees shared what was happening in their neighborhood. Some had questions about the duties of NPD. Some just wanted to say "Hello."

And some just wanted a cup of free coffee.

About 60 members of the community filled the downtown coffee shop on the east side of the Courthouse Square.

"For our first effort, that's gratifying," said NPD chief Kevin Jowitt, who was among the officers playing hosts. "This really was just kind of a getting-to-know-each-other (event)."

Jowitt said attendees shared "positive" ideas with the department, including one idea from a Morse Reservoir resident to add dock numbers to mail boxes for homes on the lake.

"The idea behind Coffee with a Cop is there are no agendas, just conversation," said NPD Sgt. Matt McGovern, the department's community outreach and special events coordinator, who organized Coffee with a Cop. He promoted the event on social media that included NPD's Facebook and Twitter pages, Next Door app, and he posted flyers downtown.

Some Noblesville neighborhood Crime Watch coordinators attended, asking for ways to better get their neighbors engaged and interested in attending meetings.

Currently, about 40 neighborhood Crime Watch groups exist in Noblesville, McGovern said.

"Our biggest complaint is thefts from vehicles. That's what most people are upset about.They're concerned about things taken from their cars at night," said McGovern, who advises residents to "help us by locking up their cars at night, closing their garage doors and taking things that are valuable inside."

NPD sometimes uses video footage from privately installed cameras, from businesses or private residences, to identify suspects and vehicles involved in criminal investigations. Seeing the growing number of private residents who have video surveillance cameras at their homes, McGovern started an NPD program about a month ago, asking residents to register their video systems on the department's database. That database was used recently in a neighborhood to find a suspect, he said.

Attendees at Coffee with a Cop also wanted to know more about the police department and its growth and the possibility of it moving to a new location.

At NPD, there are 82 police officers and 95 total employees, Jowitt said. The City is also waiting on a response from Firestone Industrial Products, about whether or not Firestone plant's former location at 1700 Division St., would be usable to build a new Noblesville Police Station. "That is so much the right location for us for a whole lot of reasons," Jowitt said.

The NPD since 1992 has been in its current building at 135 S. Ninth St.

Upcoming NPD events include partnering with Noblesville Parks for the annual Family Halloween Party from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Oct. 27 at Forest Park; manning trick-or-treat hours, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Oct. 31; and participation in the Noblesville Christmas Parade which is annually the Sunday after Thanksgiving.

NPD is already planning its next Coffee with a Cop for November, likely in the area of Hamilton Town Center. For more information on the program, contact McGovern at (317) 776-6340 or by e-mail at mmcgovern@noblesville.in.us. Also, anyone who wants to start a neighborhood Crime Watch is encouraged to contact NPD.

Also, to note, Larry Lee Davis, Second Ward Noblesville Crime Watch coordinator, will lead a neighborhood walk with two NPD officers at 1:45 p.m. Saturday beginning at City Hall parking lot, and knocking on doors on Cherry, Maple and Conner streets, between 10th and 19th streets.

-Contact me at betsy@thetimes24-7.com.





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