About a dozen members out of the 59-member Natick Police Department were on hand on a sweltering late-spring afternoon at a Coffee with Cop event, coordinated with and hosted by Sweetwaters Coffee & Tea in Natick Center. The goal of the event was to support relationships between the NPD and the community as officers chatted informally with residents. About 15 community members attended at any given time during the 4-hour meet-and-greet as neighbors stopped in to order beverages and graze from Sweetwaters-supplied platters of baked goodies.
Since Natick Report is somewhat new in town, we stopped by to get to know a few of Natick’s finest, who told us they were looking for a few good people to add to their ranks. Natick Police Chief James Hicks recently has spoken about the issue on the locally produced Black Lives Matter program on Natick Pegasus. During the interview, Chief addressed challenges of minority hiring under the state’s civil service system and previewed training efforts underway within the department to ensure personnel understands the history of policing.
The conversation as we moved from group to group invariably turned toward the recent events in Braintree in which 2 of that city’s officers were injured by gunshots on June 4, and their K-9 was also shot and died as a result. It was clear that the violence loomed large as a stark reminder of how quickly things can change on the job.
“Natick is a great town to work in and we have great relationships with the residents,” Lt. Cara Rossi said. “After the Braintree incident, a resident called the department and said she wanted to donate a safety vest for our K-9.”
Natick already has such safety gear for Koda, their 2-year old Belgian Malonois, but Lt. Rossi told the story to illustrate what she said was a typical show of concern from residents.