Harrisonburg police host ‘Cookout with a Cop’ at Ralph Sampson Park

Published: Aug. 16, 2022 at 8:30 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - The Harrisonburg Police Department hosted its second-ever ‘Cookout With a Cop’ event at Ralph Sampson Park on Tuesday.

Officers grilled some food for the community for whom they hope to work to have a better connection.

“It’s all about building relationships,” said Lt. Chris Monahan of the Harrisonburg Police Department. “It’s great any time we can get out in the community, make contacts, and have dialogues.”

The event is part of HPD’s larger efforts to foster relationships with people in the Harrisonburg community and have an open dialogue with the officers.

“It’s a great opportunity. Somebody comes up to you and they have questions, questions they may not dare walk up and ask a police officer. So, we’re trying to build that familiarity with our police force, build those relationships, have that dialogue and it’s always a very friendly event,” said Monahan.

For Monahan and the rest of HPD, one of the best parts of the event was getting to interact with the children who attended.

“Sometimes the officers have more fun than the people that come, especially with the interactions with the children. It’s always great to put a smile on a child’s face and that’s what happens more often. They’re coming up, they’re hugging us, they’re asking us questions, getting stickers, getting prizes. So it’s always a great time, especially for the children,” said Monahan.

Despite the rain, the event had a good-sized turnout as people from around the city came out to enjoy some hamburgers and hot dogs and connect with officers.

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