BC Delano’s Coffee with a Cop: Bringing Police and Community Together

Right before opening day Jan 15 2016

Jennifer Marden, Dylan Wang, Sonya Christian, Shannon Musser, Francis Mayer. Opening Day. Jan 15, 2016

Good morning Bakersfield.  It is January 16, 2016.

We have launched another great semester at BC!  Will blog about Opening Day next weekend after all the photos and videos come in.  So make sure you tune in.

I’m recalling Spring 2015 when our opening day was at the Delano campus.  It was just a wonderful event.  Thank you Delano for the big white tent, the warm heaters and the amazing food.  We also had two incredible leaders join us: Lynda Resnick and Guardie Banister.  Thank you Trustee Romeo Agbalog for attending.  Check out the photos gallery at

https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/president/spring-2015-opening-day

Speaking of Delano, let me showcase a recent event where our campus partnered with the Delano Police Department.

This is a difficult time to be a police officer.  Regardless of where you stand on many of the complex issues and events that have pushed policing into the forefront of American conversation in recent months, it’s impossible not to have sympathy for the overwhelming majority of the men and women who serve and protect.  They perform a vital service in an increasingly hostile and dangerous environment with a rapidly dwindling margin of error.

SAM_7441With law enforcement so under the microscope these days, the best way I can imagine to help soothe anger or distrust between police and their community is also the simplest — basic one-on-one communication.  If you can help remove the fear, anxiety, power divide and amplified emotions that can happen when a cop and a community member interact, you’re really just left with two people talking as equals, the best grounds possible for mutual understanding and respect.

SAM_7445So it should come as no surprise that I was thrilled with the “Coffee with a Cop” event held on BC’s Delano campus a few weeks ago.

Coordinated between Delano Police, BC’s Rural Initiatives Program Manager Gustavo Enriquez and Delano campus Director Rich McCrow, Coffee with a Cop was just what it sounds like — a chance for BC Delano students and staff to grab a cup of coffee and a donut and speak casually with a handful of engaged, open and community-minded Delano police officers.

There were no speeches or big presentations and nothing by way of a structured agenda.  For two hours, students and faculty simply streamed into the campus’ main lobby area, enjoyed a morning pick-me-up and got a chance to meet and really talk with four of Delano Police’s finest in a casual, informal setting.

SAM_7432Attendance was great and everyone involved said they were very appreciative for the chance to just get together, hang out and talk on a personal level to these fine young men.

We all know that coffee and conversation isn’t by itself a quick fix for concerns that people may have. But any single step, even a modest one like Coffee with a Cop, is progress toward building trust. Toward building community.

A huge thank you to Delano Police Chief Mark DeRosia and his fine cadre of officers as well as Gustavo and Rich for pulling this fantastic event together! Delano Rocks! The Fore is with…BC!

SAM_7447

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