MONTE VISTA —All over America last Wednesday, Oct. 2 communities met with their local law enforcement to celebrate national “Coffee With a Cop” day. Monte Vista was no exception with Rain Brews Tavern hosting the event. Many people attended the informal meeting including Violet the dog.
Coffee with a cop is experiencing a revamp after a monthlong break from the regular community event. Monte Vista Police Chief, John Rosecrans, came to answer questions and chat with neighbors. “Coffee with a cop is not a meeting,” said Chief Rosecrans, “Coffee with a cop is for us to get together and chat about things and answer questions.”
During the morning discussions, someone asked about one of the dogs in the canine unit named Jake. Currently the police department’s canine unit is hoping to retrain the dogs from sniffing for marijuana to identifying other illicit dogs. Since marijuana is becoming a more commonplace in Colorado, and it’s legal to possess small quantities, it can be difficult for the canine to identify other drugs when marijuana is present. Jake can’t tell canine officers which drug he’s sniffing. “He is just supposed to show “alert” on what he’s been trained to alert on. Marijuana is one of those things. But we’ve gotten really good feedback from the trainers and the district attorney that said “proofing” animals off of things is as certifiable as proofing them on so we will be able to certify him off of marijuana and then keep going with the other drugs,” said Chief Rosecrans.
It should cost the canine unit about $1,500 to proof Jake off of marijuana. If you would like to help Jake’s training process by donating, you can call (719) 850-1191 for more information. You can also take cash or checks to Notes & Numbers on 118 Washington St. in Monte Vista. The canine unit will also have a booth in conjunction with crime stoppers at the Rotary Gun Show on Oct. 26-27 at the Ski-Hi recreational complex.
Communication was also a theme during the “Coffee with a Cop” discussion. There were points brought up by Chief Rosecrans addressing negativity seen on Facebook; particularly in regard to the police department. “Facebook is for fun. I think Facebook is for the good things. If you want to yell and scream about the bad things stand up, be accountable, come see us and tell us what’s going on. We’ll respond and we’ll work through the problems,” said Chief Rosecrans. Others shared their own positive experiences with coming to things like coffee with a cop and being able to understand each other better by talking with one another face-to-face.
“I think we all forget about how easy it is to judge something passing by. But if you just took the time to understand, it would change your perspective completely,” commented Chief Rosecrans.
Communication came up again when the new emergency manager for Rio Grande County, Nicolle Rosecrans, asked what Chief Rosecrans would like to see out of the position.
“It’s kind of a new emerging field. However, I do think coordination is key to having an emergency manager,” said Chief Rosecrans. He went on to explain that unfortunately sometimes emergency responders butt heads. However, he felt if they coordinated more, and communicated what their equipment looked like they would be better able to understand each other’s limitations.
Nicolle Rosecrans also added that it’s important to make connections with your neighbors and look out for each other. “When we don’t connect with our community, we can be our worst enemy when it comes to a disaster situation,” said Nicolle Rosecrans.
As the new emergency manager for Rio Grande County, Rosecrans will be making sure the community gets news about emergencies as soon as a possible. You can sign up to receive emergency alerts and get important information on emergencies by signing up at https://www.slve911.org/ . Or you can also email your contact information to [email protected]
If you would like to join the community conversation at “Coffee with the Cop,” it will be happening the first Wednesday of every month at Rain Brews Tavern in Monte Vista from 8 – 10 a.m.