If you live around North Temple and have concerns about policing, it might be worth your while getting to Mestizo Coffeehouse Thursday morning between 7 and 9.a.m.
Salt Lake City Police Department is starting a new, informal community-outreach initiative called "Coffee With a Cop."
The flier lays it out neatly: "Questions about crime? Let's talk about it over a cup of coffee." Slated for the fourth Thursday of each month, the outreach is part of "a collaborative effort to solve public-safety issues at the neighborhood level," in conjunction with Salt Lake City, Buy local first and Downtown SLC Alliance. The release promises that if you come with questions, the cops will have answers.
Residents in North Temple have long had questions about the thoroughfare, ranging from the curb-crawling of women after dark to the high level of crime linked to drugs and prostitution activity at some of the more run-down motels on the street.
I was down there the other day, ironically, researching a story on Medicaid, and witnessed what appeared to be a quick drug buy in the parking lot of a fast-food restaurant on North Temple.
In a press release, Police Chief Chris Burbank noted that officers would be "prepared with information about issues in the area and [would] talk with residents about ways to work together to reduce crime."
Mestizo coffeehouse is at 641 W. North Temple in Salt Lake City.