Coffee with a cop off to a good start in Hollis

HOLLIS – As part of a national initiative, the Hollis Police Department hosted its first Coffee With a Cop session on April 1.

The program seeks to provide an opportunity for police and community members to gather in an informal setting and converse about whatever is on their minds.

During the 90-minute time frame, about two dozen residents gathered in the meeting room at Town Hall, coming and going at their leisure, and, of course, enjoying the coffee and mini-muffins. There was no program, no presentations on safety or protecting yourself from criminals, but there was conversation on topics ranging from weather to schools. A couple who moved to Hollis from Florida last year were introduced to the woman from California who just experienced her first New England winter. A resident who said he was looking forward to a vacation was reminded that police will check on homes during an absence.

“The turnout was really great,” said Lt. Richard Mello. “We put it in place without knowing if we were going to get one or 20, and people were coming through consistently. People seemed to enjoy this, and they can see us on a social level in a different environment. That’s important.”

The event will continue on the first Tuesday of the month for the foreseeable future.