ELKTON — Most people have encountered law enforcement officers only through the driver’s side windows of their vehicles during traffic stops for speeding or for some other ordinary violation.

On Wednesday morning, however, residents who came to the Cecil County Senior Center were able to see officers under more casual circumstances and interact with them in a more relaxed, personal way.

The annual “Cecil County Coffee with a Cop” event, which ran for two hours, allowed residents to shoot the breeze with law enforcement officers while drinking java and other beverages and eating doughnuts, muffins and waffles — all of which were free.

Maryland State Police troopers, Cecil County Sheriff’s Office deputies and officers with the Elkton Police Department and the North East Police Department were among those in attendance.

“This makes them (officers) become familiar faces to us,” said Elkton-area resident Shorty Taylor. “You get to ask them questions.”

Sara Yale expressed a similar sentiment.

“It connects everyone in the community. It helps them (officers) get to know some of the people in the community and those people to get to know them.” Yale said.

Yale and her husband, Chris Mullins, own and operate the Chesapeake Bay Coffee Co. in downtown North East, and they were among other Cecil County shop owners serving free coffee and free breakfast pastries during the event.

Other business owners donating their time, food and coffee during the event were Elkton-based businesses Waffle’n Joe and East Main Cafe, and Cafe On the Bay, which is located in Chesapeake City.

As part of the event, which was was hosted by the Cecil County Department of Community Services and the CCSO, attendees also received free coffee traveling mugs.

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