‘Coffee with a Cop’ event draws a crowd

Camas-Washougal officers take turns behind register, espresso machines

Washougal resident Bob Maddox (center) talks to Camas Police Chief Mitch Lackey (left) and Washougal Police Chief Ron Mitchell (right) during the Nov. 22 "Coffee with a Cop" event at the Washougal Starbucks at "C" and Third streets.

Camas and Washougal's police chiefs, Mitch Lackey (left) and Ron Mitchell (right) catch up during the Nov. 22 "Coffee with a Cop" event at the Starbucks on Third and "C" streets in Washougal.

Washougal police officers Dan McPherson (left) and Kyle Kinnan (right) greet customers at the Washougal Starbucks at Third and "C" streets during the Nov. 22 "Coffee with a Cop" event.

Portland Police Commander Wendi Steinbronn (second from left) listens as Washougal Police Chief Ron Mitchell (second from right) talks to community members at the "Coffee with a Cop" event on Nov. 22. Steinbronn will replace Mitchell, who is set to retire at the end of this month, as Washougal's police chief in December.

Camas Police Officer Gary Manning (left) waits for his next customer at the Nov. 22 "Coffee with a Cop" community-building event that brought Camas and Washougal law enforcement officers to the Washougal Starbucks at Third and "C" streets on Friday morning.

Washougal Police Chief Ron Mitchell (second from left) talks to Portland Police Commander Wendi Steinbronn (left), Camas Police Chief Mitch Lackey (second from right) and Washougal resident Bob Maddox (right) at the Nov. 22 "Coffee with a Cop" event at the Starbucks located at the corner of "C" and Third streets in Washougal. Steinbronn is set to replace Mitchell after the police chief retires at the end of November. (Photos by Kelly Moyer/Post-Record)

Starbucks, the iconic Seattle coffee chain, prides itself on offering customers a consistent, almost identical cafe experience no matter where they might be ordering their latte or iced mocha.

Therefore, customers who happened to wander into the Starbucks at “C” and Third streets in Washougal last Friday, during the first “Coffee with a Cop” event on Nov. 22, may have found themselves startled by the party-like atmosphere and abundance of men and women wearing law enforcement uniforms.

“It’s been busy all morning,” said store manager Tanysha Bunch. “It’s a good event.”

Police officers, detectives and even chiefs from the Camas and Washougal police departments took turns gathering inside the Washougal Starbucks Friday morning from 7 to 10 a.m., to talk to customers, ring up their orders and even make their coffee drinks.

“It’s not an easy job,” Camas Police Sergeant Scot Boyles said of working as a barista behind the Starbucks espresso machines.

Gary Manning, a Camas police officer who was in charge of taking customers’ orders alongside barista Brianne Scholz, agreed the cafe job was tougher than it seemed. As of 9:30 a.m. Friday morning, however, Manning hadn’t had any major slip-ups behind the register. He even asked for proper spellings on names to write on the sides of the cups.

Both police departments had about five officers attend the community-building event, said Camas Police Chief Mitch Lackey, who helped organize the “Coffee with a Cop” shindig.

Lackey, as well as outgoing Washougal Police Chief Ron Mitchell — who is retiring at the end of this month — and Mitchell’s replacement, Portland Police Commander Wendi Steinbronn, all attended the Friday event.

The Camas Police Department is gearing up for another community event happening in early December.

“For several years, the Camas Police Department has encouraged its officers to leave their razors in the drawer for the month of November,” explains a Camas police flier hanging inside the Washougal Starbucks. “The ‘No Shave November’ event has helped raise awareness of prostate cancer, but we wanted to take it to the next level.”

This year, the Camas police have partnered with Camas Barbershop to help raise awareness and money for prostate cancer research.

On Dec. 11, Camas Barbershop, located at 214 N.E. Fourth Ave., in downtown Camas, will donate 100 percent of its proceeds from beard trims and shaves to ZEROCANCER.org. Camas police officers will arrive at noon on Dec. 11 to get their own shaves and to celebrate with the barbershop’s staff and customers.

See more photos from this event at camaspostrecord.com.

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