It was hard to avoid rubbing shoulders with members of the force at the Corner Cafe on Tuesday when NSW Police’s Coffee with a Cop drew a large crowd.
Inspector Roger Best said the turnout was similar to that of Armidale’s event a year ago, despite the latter’s 25,000 population.
A number of issues had been raised by community members at the get-together, generally in the areas of traffic and property crime.
“But overwhelmingly people realise that they live in a wonderful town with limited issues compared to other towns,” Insp Best said.
He said much of Tenterfield’s crime is due to groups or individuals passing through town committing break-and-enter.
“Someone in town knows about it and the community tells us. We jump on it and it stops.”
Although he was impressed that the Coffee with a Cop turnout rivalled that of the much bigger centre of Armidale, he said he was not surprised.
“You have good police here. The sergeant (James Boaden) is a wonderful fellow, hardworking and he understands the community, and the troops love him.”
Insp Best said the local station is now fully staffed (with one away on maternity leave) so it’s not like the old days with long-term vacancies. In fact if more officers in Sydney find out about the working conditions here (such as new team member Jarryd De Castro) we might have to hold them back.
Insp Best said the number of quality cafes and restaurants and other infrastructure here indicates that the town is thriving, somewhat assisted by its low crime rate.
Tenterfield’s first Coffee with a Cop was so successful that Insp Best said there’s a possibility it will happen again next year, although they may have to consider booking out the whole venue.
Local Coffee with a Cop coordinator Senior Constable Ben Tatton had expected the numbers to build up after the 10am start but was overwhelmed by the crowd right from the beginning.
“It’s good for Tenterfield,” he said. “There’s been great community support for the event.”