Ozark fire and police chiefs have a cup of coffee with the community
“Coffee with the Chiefs” is on a mission to improve trust and build relationships…one cup of coffee at a time.
Marlos Walker, Chief of the Ozark Police Department, says "Myself and the fire chief came to just engage in with the community, let them ask questions, and just kind of push out any special advice that we wanted to put out to the community."
Chief Walker says this isn't the first time an event like this has been held.
"We enjoy this. I've done some similar events like this over the last three years, maybe four or five times, and it has a great effect," replied Walker.
Not only did the chiefs get a chance to speak with community members over a cup of coffee, but they also got the chance to share individually what's going on in their departments.
"Our goal is each year we try to pick a subject or a need to try to fill each year to enhance our department and make things better," replied Walker.
Phillip Prince, Chief of the Ozark Fire Department, says "We have replaced two of our older ambulances. We brought them in about a month ago now and went into a new type of ambulance...a Type 1 ambulance."
Chief Prince says they are very satisfied with the upgrade.
"They're bigger, they've got more room to move around in them in the back, and of course anytime you move and go to a newer product...it's a nicer product," replied Prince.
The Ozark Fire Department is already looking towards next years' budget.
"Monitors are $30,000 a piece...everything is pricey, but you know we have them for a reason. If you can save one life, they've earned our keep," says Prince.
Both chiefs hope to break down the barriers between public safety officers and the citizens they serve.
"I think it's important for the public just to understand what public safety is ad what we're for. I think sometimes that's loss not so much on the public but on the public safety people," says Prince.
"They need to know that we have their back and we're behind them...and we need the same thing. Its fuel for what we do. The positive feedback from the community helps us do our job," says Walker.
“Coffee with the Chiefs” was hosted by the Ozark Area Chamber of Commerce.