Coffee, community, and constables

Following the same vein of National Night Out, the community got an opportunity to speak with local law enforcement at Starbucks in Williams on Thursday.

Events for Starbuck’s first anniversary in Williams had a specific theme for the week-long celebration. Payton Huskey, Starbucks shift manager, was in charge of the Aug. 15 Coffee With a Cop.

The event was a social affair: a mixer with pastries and house blend coffee, of course. The turnout was significant with officers from the Colusa County Sheriff’s Department, Williams Police Department, and California Highway Patrol, present to chat with locals.

Former Williams Mayor Pat Ash still receives questions from citizens, so she attended the event to present some of them to Williams Chief of Police, Jim Saso.

“I’d been on the city council for 8 years and even though I’ve been off for a few years, people still call me with concerns,” Ash said. “I’m a conduit. I don’t have any major complaints, just want to convey the questions that people ask me.”

The event was a great opportunity for law enforcement officers to also express themselves.
Williams Police Sgt. Chris Miller stated that he would like to see more of the publics awareness to changes in existing laws.

Miller said that he tends to spend a lot of time explaining the changes that he is responsible to enforce. He also said that there is an expectation from the public that there is an immediate response to all calls, but while each is considered important, calls are triaged by urgency.

Another aspect to carrying out service to the community is by having a good working relationship with other agencies, said officers.

Events such as this provided an opportunity for the first responders to meet with the different departments on a personal level, in addition to the professional, he said.
Starbucks staff wore T-shirts with black and blue to show their support for law enforcement.

Saso, who was deputized as an honorary barista, donned a green apron and got a crash course in Latte 101.

Patrons in the drive-thru were amused when it was the city’s top cop who handed them a beverage.

Derek Flores, Starbucks shift manager, said that he would definitely hire Saso when – and if – the chief retires.

“All he has to do is put in an application,” Flores said. “We’ve already seen his commitment and his passion right here.”

Williams Mayor Alfred Sellers also attended the event. ■