The San Bernardino Police Department (SBPD) successfully hosted a community engagement event, “Coffee With a Cop,” on May 16th, at the innovation hub Studio D in downtown San Bernardino.
The event aimed to foster positive interactions between law enforcement officers and community members while addressing quality-of-life issues and enhancing public safety.
During the event, LT Nicholas Oldendorf of the SBPD Southern district highlighted the department’s expansion into downtown San Bernardino, emphasizing the increased police presence there. “We are growing our team, with six resource officers assigned to the downtown area,” stated LT Oldendorf.
He also underscored the department’s commitment to addressing quality-of-life issues before they escalate into more significant problems. LT Oldendorf mentioned the allocation of a railroad enforcement grant that focuses on suicide prevention and increased enforcement targeting pop-up marijuana dispensaries.
To empower citizens and businesses, LT Oldendorf recommended downloading the Go SB City app for non-emergency issues, particularly those related to the quality of life. “The app holds us accountable and enables us to address hotspots from different angles,” LT Oldendorf explained. “It empowers the citizens and businesses, allowing them to report concerns and collaborate with law enforcement.”
Sgt. Anna McKenna expressed her enthusiasm for the vision of downtown San Bernardino, stating, “Working closely with the graffiti department, if we all participate, we can make this a better place.” Recognizing the importance of community involvement, Sgt. McKenna emphasized the need for citizens to utilize the SB City app, calling it a “great accountability tool.” She encouraged residents to use the app’s features to contribute to the city’s improvement actively.
“Our city is 62 square miles, and we work around the clock. So let’s help each other out,” Mayor Tran added, echoing the sentiment while encouraging the community to download the Go SBCity app. The app allows the user to submit a request with photos and location for quality-of-life issues such as graffiti removal and potholes.
The SBPD’s “Operation Restore Downtown Hope” initiative, which aims to tackle blight and quality of life issues, was also discussed during the event. Sgt. McKenna shared her experiences in the Meadowbrook area, where tents and debris had accumulated. She described the department’s efforts in connecting with the individuals and reaching out to provide resources. “Sometimes you get the buy-in, sometimes the people want help, sometimes they don’t. It’s all about communicating,” Sgt. McKenna explained. She noted that despite her initial concerns about resistance, the response from the community has been cooperative, resulting in significant improvements in the area.
Addressing concerns about attracting businesses and tenants to the city, LT Oldendorf mentioned exciting developments, stating, “Chick-fil-A, Sonic, and Del Taco are coming to downtown San Bernardino.”
He acknowledged the challenge of attracting investment to promote economic development and revitalization of buildings. LT Oldendorf emphasized the significance of occupied buildings in boosting community pride and attracting further investments. He cited the establishment of Studio D, a co-working space and entrepreneurial hub, as an opportunity to provide resources and support to startups and small businesses, fostering an environment of success.
The “Coffee With a Cop” event successfully fostered positive relationships between the San Bernardino Police Department and the community, highlighting the department’s commitment to addressing quality-of-life concerns, ensuring public safety, and creating opportunities for economic growth and development in downtown San Bernardino.
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