SARASOTA - If you were looking for a jolt of caffeine Wednesday, Sarasota Police Department stood ready with a "cup of Joe" as officers participated in National Coffee with a Cop Day.

Several of SPD’s finest shared a few hours mingling with members of the community as part of a national effort to build better relationships with those they serve. SPD Chief Bernadette DiPino says her officers engaging in positive interactions with citizens makes a difference.

“We actually are able to network with people, provide our contact information, hear from the community, what they like about our police department or what troubles are going on within the community and then we’re able to address that," says Chief DiPino.

Long time Sarasota resident Jake Jakubowicz says seeing representation from SPD for the national initiative is critical.

“Just seeing their presence like this really opens up a vista that the young people hopefully are going to see," says Jakubowicz.

He says the event is a good way to humanize the men and women behind the badge

"We know who they’re serving but we know something about them and their families. They love their community and we’re very grateful, thank God for their service," says Jakubowicz.

A sentiment which Chief DiPino mirrors from a law enforcement standpoint.

“We need to work together to make a really good community which Sarasota is. We’re just really looking forward to getting to know the people within the community that we haven’t met yet," says Chief DiPino.

SPD Public Information Officer Genevieve Judge says plans are brewing to participate in the social event again next year.