The Mankato Department of Public Safety gathered with the community at Hyvee as part of national Coffee with a Cop Day. It’s meant to bring people together for a relaxed conversation – and Commander Dan Schisel there is no specific message or agenda.

One member of the community that stopped by to chat was an intellectually disabled young woman with a love for police officers and Schisel said, “This makes it all worth it. She came with someone else and a camera and she said, ‘You know what? I’m your biggest fan.’ And it was just great to see the smile on her face. She was so excited and she took pictures with firefighters, police officers.”

Schisel explained that it also gave them an opportunity to address a neighborhood issue that hadn’t previously been brought to their attention when, “An individual just came up and said, ‘You know what, we had this in our neighborhood and I’m wondering if you can address this concern?’ And, certainly, it is something that we can address and if I’m not able to take care of it myself I will pass that along to the right individuals to make sure that gets taken care of.”

Coffee with a Cop began in 2011, and while this is the first year Mankato Police and Fire have participated, Schisel said they plan to continue it on a regular basis at various locations and different times of the day so that more members of the community may be able to attend.