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Ohio University sophomore Jayson Wollmann stirs a fresh cup of coffee as OUPD Lt. Tim Ryan speaks with junior Daniel Parsons in The Front Room on Thursday, Jan. 22. The event encouraged community members to meet and speak with law enforcement.

(Photos by Robin Hecker/Ohio University)

Ohio University sophomore Jayson Wollmann stirs a fresh cup of coffee as Ohio University Police Lt. Tim Ryan (left) speaks with junior Daniel Parsons in The Front Room on Thursday, Jan. 22, as part of an event held to encourage meaningful conversations between community members and law enforcement.

“Most of the population has their contact with police officers in emergencies,” said OUPD Lt. Eric Hoskinson, who organized the event. “An emergency is not the best time for open conversation, so we thought it would be nice if we could create an environment without speeches and podiums, where we just buy some coffee and invite people in to meet us.”

No topic or issue was too big to discuss, he said, adding that the event was an opportunity for officers to answer questions outside their patrol cars and learn about the people within the community they serve.

“We need to remember that we are truly here for our community, and they need to have a voice inside the police department,” Hoskinson said.

 

Ohio University junior Daniel Parsons and sophomore Megan Cummings speak with OUPD Lt. Tim Ryan (left) and OUPD Chief Andrew Powers. To the right, juniors Cole Decker and Chris Koester enjoy free coffee.

Junior Daniel Parsons and sophomore Megan Cummings enjoy a conversation with Ryan (left) and OUPD Chief Andrew Powers. To the right, juniors Cole Decker and Chris Koester enjoy free coffee. During the two-hour event, 15 gallons of coffee were served.

(From left) Athens County Sheriff Rodney Smith, construction worker Robert P. Boggs, OUPD Lt. Tim Ryan, and Victoria McFadden enjoy their conversations.

(From left) Athens County Sheriff Rodney Smith, construction worker Robert P. Boggs, OUPD Lt. Tim Ryan, and Victoria McFadden enjoy coffee and conversation.

Officer Richard Comer speaks with T. David Curp, associate professor of history at OHIO.

OUPD Officer Richard Comer speaks with T. David Curp, associate professor of history at OHIO.