PHOTO BY CHRISTINA McCUNE | DGKN
Officer Eric McFarren chats with Pioneer Coffeehouse Manager Christina Dantona during his “Coffee Break,” a new initiative where he visits either Pioneer Coffeehouse or Dutch Kitchen every other week and every other Friday visits a business. The project is to help build community connections.
DALTON For some cops, it helps to have a sense of humor. Offer Dalton Police Captain Eric McFarren a donut and he may politely decline it. But he also takes advantage of the stereotype of police officers having an affinity for “energy rings.”
In an effort to help bring the community together during a time when he has noticed a lot of disconnection, this summer, the veteran police officer kicked off “Coffee Breaks with the Dalton Police” at Dutch Kitchen and Pioneer Coffeehouse. He also purchases donuts from one of those restaurants and brings them to employees at local businesses every other Friday. So far, he has popped in to businesses with a smile and sweet treats in hand such as Haasz Automall, Dalton Hair Design and Wenger Companies.
Mainly funding the project out of his own pocket, McFarren has plans to possibly start a fund to accept donations. He also has other ideas to grow the visits by recognizing employees and maybe even getting a trailer that can be towed to different locations.
“By doing this, they see me for who I am,” said McFarren, a Dalton graduate who has been a police officer for 26 years. “I’m someone whose heart is in the right place. You see me as a person and not a cop.”
Typically, McFarren plans to be at Dutch Kitchen, 14278 E Lincoln Way (U.S. 30), the first Saturday of every month and Pioneer Coffeehouse, 60 Lincolnview Drive, the third Saturday of the month.