Friday morning brought the public together with many of Van Alstyne’s police officers over the old stereotype, Donuts and Coffee with Cops; a first in what could become a quarterly gathering. Always a believer in community outreach programs, Van Alstyne Police Chief Tim Barnes said he is hoping to add this type of gathering department’s others, which includes National Night Out, to be held this year on October 2.

Initiated by the Van Alstyne Chamber of Commerce, the crowd met inside the city’s Community Center. TK Coffee Lodge provided their morning and bold blends of coffee and the Chamber provided donuts. Everyone there provided smiles, greetings and handshakes.

Officer Jonathan Hoffman is Van Alstyne PD’s newest officer with Friday being his fourth day on the job. He hails from Durant, he said.

Others in attendance were Sgt. Sonia Henriques, Officer MaryAnn Jones, and Chief Tim Barnes, who has been with the department for 26 years and worked through the ranks from patrol officer to chief.

Children played all throughout the morning while parents met and talked with the officers. There were also representatives from several of the town’s boards and committees in attendance to support the police department and the event.

Barnes said, “this is a great opportunity for the community to meet the officers and also for the officers to meet those in the community. It was a great turn-out, and we appreciate the support of the community.”

Ashley Limos, Marketing Director with Douglass Distributing, TK Coffee Lodge’s parent company, said about their having provided the coffee, “The Coffee Lodge was excited to be a part of this event. We really enjoy being a part of the community and supporting our local police department.”

Barnes said that he hopes to again host a morning coffee and donuts session in about three months.

“As the community grows, we need to be doing this sort of reaching out, meeting both newer and long-time residents. We hope to have the next one at a local business.”

Any business wanting to sponsor a future “Coffee and Donuts with the Cops” can call the Chamber of Commerce office, 903-482-6066. Chamber President Brenda McDonald said that the Chamber will help coordinate this for the police department.

Barnes said, “We are blessed to have a community that supports law enforcement. We really strive to have our officers be a part of the community.”

The Chief asked, also, that people be aware that children of all ages will be in school and it’s so important that drivers use precaution to keep everyone safe. He has listed five important driving factors, some legal and some common sense measures, on the Department’s Facebook page, Van Alstyne Police Department.

“We always share events on there,” Barnes said, and those include safety tips such as the ones he just posted, and also information about hazardous driving conditions around wrecks and fires, and even what to do in such rarities as phones being down.”