Domino’s holds first Pizza with a Cop
By PAMELA GRANT
Thursday afternoon, citizens were invited to Domino’s Pizza to chow down alongside local police officers.
Domino’s hosted its first Pizza with a Cop event geared towards granting the public a safe, friendly, relaxed environment through which they could meet and interact with local officers. Domino’s offered one free small pizza to each person.
“With all that’s going on in the world with the police department, I thought this would give people a nice, relaxing lunch where they could get to know the police officers,” said Ingrid Kiefer, public relations and Fort Hood liaison for MAC Pizza Management Inc. “You can’t put a price tag on relationships.”
Domino’s has other events throughout the year during which they give away pizza including their military appreciation event and the dough show that they for the library’s annual Summer Reading Program. Kiefer said that they plan on hosting a similar event for the local firefighters.
Kiefer said that some of the event-goers told her that they had recently moved to the area and appreciated the opportunity to meet the local officers. Kiefer said that it’s important for her to show support to those who support the community, such as the military and first responders.
“This is awesome,” said Linda Rodriguez. “I thought they were giving us just one piece of pizza, but they gave us the whole pizza.”
Linda Rodriguez attended the event with her husband, Robert Rodriguez, and Dustin Phipps who brought his son, Elijah Phipps. The adults are all members of the Copperas Cove Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association.
“It’s a great way for them to reach out to the community,” said Dustin Phipps. “It’s a good way to get to know [the police officers], and if there are any negative perceptions, they can crush them.”
“It’s a more relaxed environment,” said patrol officer, Joseph Raj, about Domino’s Pizza with a Cop event.
Raj said that he and fellow officers are always willing to talk to members of the community and to answer any questions that they might have.
“We’re here to help,” said Raj, who was also recognized at the event as the officer of the year by Domino’s.
Raj and other officers said that it is important for them to be able to interact with the public in a positive environment, rather than as a response to an emergency or a law enforcement situation.
Citizens were able to ask questions or even just chat with the officers about whatever was on their mind. It also served as a good way for children to interact with the officers and help build trust so that they know that they can come to an officer if they need help.
After reading about the event on Facebook, Sophie Bowles brought her young sons, Austin (3) and Michael (6 months) to the event to meet the police officers.
“He’s always super excited about police officers,” said Bowles about her son, Austin. “And, of course, he loves pizza, so I kinda wanted to get him out so he could get more friendly with them and more used to them. He’s pretty shy.”