The North 27th Street Starbucks was buzzing with police activity on Monday morning from the drive-thru window to the parking lot.
But it wasn’t in the way one might assume.
“It was a great turnout. Lots of kids, lots of smiles on faces, and a lot of surprised faces coming through when I was working the drive-thru. It was a great time,” said Sgt. Jeff Stovall of the Billings Police Department.
Sgt. Stovall along with about a dozen other officers hung out at the coffee shop from 7 to 9 a.m. on Monday, handing out orders at the drive-thru window, preparing orders, interacting with customers in the lobby, and a few kids even got to explore police cars in the parking lot.
It was all for the department’s first-ever Coffee with a Cop event.
“It’s just getting out with the community, stepping out and humanizing police officers, letting them know we’re part of this community. We want to reach out to them and thank them for their support. Shake some hands, have conversations, mingle with the kiddos, and just have a good time with our community,” said Sgt. Stovall.
Without any barista experience, Sgt. Stovall said he and the other officers had a great time while serving all the coffee they could handle for the day.
“We had one of our officers working the whipped cream station today, and he blew the whipped cream all over himself, so his uniform got covered in whipped cream, and that was pretty funny.”
By the end of the morning, Sgt. Stovall said iced beverages looked the most appealing, and he looks forward to serving up more at future Coffee with a Cop events.
“We’re going to keep pushing forward with this. We’re going to reach out to some local coffee shops as well and get the myriad of the community involved.”
The next Coffee with a Cop will take place on Wednesday, August 3rd from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. at the City Brew on 1335 Golden Valley Circle. A mid-August event is scheduled for Wednesday, August 17th from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. at Rail Line Coffee on South 29th Street. On Friday, August 26th from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m., Coffee with a Cop will be hosted at Big Sky Coffee Roasters on Grand Avenue. And they will wrap up the month downtown at the Billings Symphony Office on Tuesday, August 30th from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.