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Sector commander to hold ‘Coffee with a Cop’

Lt. Jeff Slater to meet Jan. 18 with residents

By Mike Wood

Staff writer


Tuesday, January 16 (9:00 a.m.) When Lt. Jeff Slater comes to Rossmoor for a “Coffee with a Cop” meet-up on Thursday, Jan. 18, he won’t be alone. That morning, he’ll bring a handful of Walnut Creek Police Department colleagues.

Slater, the police department’s Sector 1 commander, will be in the Donner Room at the Event Center starting at 9 a.m. for a session that aims to be informative as well as informal. In April, Slater became commander of Sector 1, which covers all of Rossmoor plus much of southern Walnut Creek.

Coffee with a Cop sessions are a regular part of the department’s community outreach, but the locale offers an opportunity to accommodate more attendees.

“Doing it at a coffee shop is quaint, but this wonderful facility within the gates of Rossmoor makes it nice,” Slater said. “It gives us a chance to put a face to those of us working in the community, meet residents, and to find out what’s bothering you, what’s troubling you.”

Tom Cashion, Rossmoor’s public safety manager, said this is a nice chance for residents to meet with police officers in a casual setting. This is Rossmoor’s first Coffee with a Cop since 2019, when Cashion was sector commander for WCPD.

“This is an excellent way for residents to connect with the Walnut Creek Police Department and the officers who serve them,” Cashion said. “Residents can share concerns one-on-one with an officer.”

They also can voice what they believe to be the priorities for the community, Cashion added, and build a relationship that lasts longer than the coffee event.

The Police Department has new elements to show off, both digital and physical. The department recently launched its new standalone website. Residents can go to to file crime, car accident or abandoned vehicle reports, or request a police or accident report or police public records.

The new site boasts transparency, with documents like the Walnut Creek Police policy manual and fatal incident protocol, which are downloadable. There’s a LexisNexis interactive crime map; data on hate crimes in Walnut Creek and how to report them; and traffic enforcement and activity data.

Attendees can also learn about the department’s new all-zero electric police motorcycles, and the Volunteers in Police Services program.

Significantly, there is growth with the police force itself. Five officers are being added to the department this month – four from the police academy and a fifth who is a lateral move. Slater is planning to have a couple traffic officers attend the Rossmoor gathering, and perhaps others with the department.

Slater wishes to talk to residents about a possible traffic safety grant, and while data is being gathered before an application is submitted, issues such as pedestrian safety, DUI enforcement and distracted driving are vitally important to him.

Traffic and pedestrian safety will be a focal point, but also crime as a whole, including fraud prevention. Home security is also important when one is not home.

A November burglary in the Eagle Ridge neighborhood when a resident was away from home remains under investigation, Slater said.

“We’ll provide basic safety tips, everything from making friends with neighbors, to don’t let newspapers or mail stack up, and to consider investing in alarm and/or video surveillance,” he said.