Residents invited to have Breakfast with Blue

Sourced from Dubois County Free Press

The Southside McDonald’s will be a safe place to stop by tomorrow morning.

As part of Breakfast with Blue, officers from the Jasper Police Department, Indiana State Police, Department of Natural Resources and Dubois County Sheriff’s Department will be available to chat over a cup of coffee from 8 to 9 a.m.

It will continue to be held every Wednesday until December. Anyone interested in asking questions or just meeting up with the local officers is invited to stop in.

“The goal is to provide the public an opportunity to interact with the different law enforcement agencies,” Jasper Police Chief Michael Bennett explained. “They can get to know them and also, if they have problems or issues, they can bring them up there.”

Officers from the different departments will be hanging out at the restaurant during that time pending any service calls they receive. Different officers will likely be available each Wednesday depending on the duty schedules.

The initiative to have the event came from WITZ AM/FM General Manager Gene Kuntz who thought it would be a great idea to have the event for the public in light of recent national events. He spoke with the new owners of the Jasper McDonald’s, who happen to have a law enforcement background as well, and they agreed to pledge 10 percent of all proceeds during the Breakfast with Blue to the local Fraternal Order of Police, Wood Capital Local 138.

The Fraternal Order of Police will put those proceeds to use benefiting the community.

“We have three main expenses at the FOP,” Deputy Stuart Wilson, president of the local lodge, said. “Our largest expense is the Cops & Kids, but the annual Kids Camp is also expensive to put on. Plus, we have the regular expenses of maintaining the lodge.”

The Cops & Kids program teams local children with local law enforcement officers to shop for presents each Christmas. A benefit is being held by Will Read and Sing for Food on August 15th to support the Cops & Kids program.

At Kids Camp, the local agencies host children at the lodge over the weekend where they learn about the different departments’ practices and procedures. They also learn a bit about drilling and the discipline involved in law enforcement.

Wilson pointed out that by the donations being sent to the lodge, they will have more leeway with how those funds are used. “If a donor earmarks a donation for Cops & Kids, that money can’t be used to pay our electric bill,” he explained. “Nor can it be used as a donation from the FOP to any of the 20 or so local organizations we support annually.”

According to Sgt. Philip Hensley with the Indiana State Police, the breakfast tomorrow is the first time the state police have participated in such an event.

“We believe any time we can take an active role in being involved in our community, we will take advantage of that,” he said. “This is a neat way for citizens to meet with and talk to us. We are grateful for the opportunity and looking forward to the interaction.”

Breakfast with Blue is tomorrow, Wednesday, from 8 to 9 a.m. at the Southside McDonald’s and will continue each Wednesday until December.