Washington County residents can talk with Sheriff’s Office deputies at a “Coffee with a Cop” event in Lake Elmo on Wednesday.

The event, open to the public, begins at 4 p.m. at Gorman’s Restaurant.

“The majority of contacts law enforcement has with the public happen during emergencies, or emotional situations,” said Patrol Commander Brian Mueller. “Those situations are not always the most effective times for relationship building with the community, and some community members may feel that deputies are unapproachable on the street. Coffee with a Cop breaks down barriers and allows for a relaxed, one-on-one interaction.”

Previous sessions were held in Hugo and Afton, two cities that contract with the Sheriff’s Office for law enforcement. Lake Elmo does the same.

“We hope that community members will feel comfortable to ask questions, bring concerns, or simply get to know our deputies,” said Sheriff Bill Hutton.

Coffee with a Cop is a national initiative supported by The U.S. Department of Justice.

Anyone with questions can contact Mueller at 651-430-7802 or brian.mueller@co.washington.mn.us.