Local law enforcement holds first “Coffee with a Cop”

Agents and officers across the law enforcement spectrum came together Wednesday morning in the Casner Room at City Hall to meet with community members over coffee and doughnuts. Nine border patrol agents, a game warden, three Marfa police officers, a Department of Public Safety agent, two Child Protective Service officers and the city’s animal control and code enforcement officers attended, with city staff, Marfa Mayor Manny Baeza and a handful of Marfa residents coming by to meet and greet with officials.

The gathering was planned with only two weeks notice, so attendance from the community was small. But from 8am to 10am, the meeting doubled as an informal interagency gathering where officers could chat about the specific challenges faced in the Big Bend area and trade stories from the field.

Chief Estevan Marquez of Marfa Police Department said his department is “only as strong as its relationship and trust with the community we serve,” so he was eager to have his department attend. “This event sets a more relaxed setting for the citizens to stop by, enjoy some coffee and get to know their officers, as well as ask questions or address any concerns,” Marquez said, adding that the goal of the department since its reestablishment has been to “always be transparent with the community.”

It was the first year for Marfa agencies to observe National Coffee with a Cop Day, but law enforcement hopes to continue the event annually going forward. Patrol Agent in Charge Michael Shelton from Border Patrol’s Marfa Station helped plan the event this year and hopes to expand attendance in the future. Marquez concurred, saying he looks forward to participating and establishing more events where the department and citizens can build a stronger relationship.