Several officers from Rio Rancho Police Department spent Thursday morning at the Starbucks on Southern listening and talking to members of the community.

Thursday’s Coffee with a Cop event is one of several hosted by RRPD throughout the year intended to break down the barriers between police officers and the citizens they serve. The events are nationwide and began in 2011.

“So we try and get these Coffee with the Cops just so we can kind of connect with the community,” RRPD’s Monica Casaus said. “And so it gives them an opportunity to come kind of in a non-intimidating kind of area. And it just kind of helps us to just connect with them.”

Dozens of citizens took advantage of the opportunity and enjoyed a coffee and a conversation with some of the officers at the event. RRPD Chief Stewart Steele and Deputy Chief Andrew Rodriguez were also on hand and holding court with community members.

The events are held monthly by RRPD. Watch the RRPD social media pages for announcements on upcoming events.