Arlington police officer Jason DeVoir, left, helps ring up a customer with support from Starbucks employee Auburn Holland during a Conversations with Cops event on Nov. 18.


Arlington residents got a chance to interact with local police from the state, county and city during the most recent Conversations with Cops event.

The regular events were paused during the pandemic but have returned for the past few months.

During the most recent event on Nov. 18 Arlington police officers, as well as officers from the Washington State Patrol, the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office and the state Fish and Wildlife Department, came to the Starbucks on 204th Street.

“It’s a great community outreach. Coffee shops are sort of the meeting centers of the public, so we regularly have our officers go to those shops to do their roll calls and pass on information,” said Arlington police chief Jonathan Ventura. “It’s a great time to be seen in the community."

Officers let the public explore their Bearcat armored vehicle and also helped local Starbucks employees during their shifts.

Ventura said the event is meant to help officers get out and interact with the public.

“It gets them out of the car and provides some more of that community policing,” he said. “I think it shows that we’re people and gives an opportunity to interact and ask questions, and talk about concerns and challenges."

It was good to get other departments such as the Washington State Patrol out at the most recent event as well, added Ventura.

“I think it’s good to see different facets of law enforcement. It’s not just us,” he said.

Members of the public said the event was enjoyable and informative.

“It’s fun,” said local Alicia Slaybaugh. “It’s nice to come out and for him [Alicia’s son] to see everyone in a positive light and get to meet the dogs and see the truck,” she said.

“His dad works for the Everett Police Department so we always like to stop by and show our support,” she added.

Ventura hopes the Conversations with Cops events create positive associations.

“Sometimes we’re walking through a restaurant and people say ‘my kid has been bad, won’t you talk to them.’ That’s not the interaction we want. We want to build trust,” he said.

The regular event had been put on hiatus because of the coronavirus pandemic, but has now returned.

“We’ve been doing it for years and we hope to continue,” said Ventura.

Police officers try to go to different locations around the Arlington community to allow different people access to the event.

The police department will often post their events on social media, although Ventura noted they are trying to increase communications.

“We’re trying to do those things a little more,” said Ventura. “Facebook is definitely the biggest one for us, but I know we’re not hitting everyone with just that."


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