HOLLAND, Mich. — Holland police teamed up with Biggby Coffee to give away free coffee to give back to the community Friday morning.
Biggby owner Mark Dykema looks forward to the event every year, as it's a great chance to give back to the community and have a good time with the customers.
"The Biggby culture is always trying to be happy, have fun, make friends, love people," Dykema said. "And at the end of the day, the police officers want to protect and serve. They want to be happy, have fun, make friends, love people, too. They have their job to do, we have our job to do and together being able to do that is just really fun.”
This was the fifth year that the Holland police and Biggby held “Police Navidad.” Last year, Biggby gave away more than $1,000 in free coffee.
Sgt. Larry Matzen looks forward to the event every year, especially because it helps build a positive relationship with the community and the department.
"It’s no question that community-police relations are strained right now," Matzen said. "This is just another way of humanizing both parties and letting you know, ‘listen, we put our pants on one leg at a time like you guys and we’d like to talk to you when you don’t need us.’"
Dykema reiterated Matzen's sentiment, saying it is important to remember that the police look forward to the holiday season as well.
“I think it’s important to understand that police officers are people too," Dykema said. "These guys have families, and we all have families and we want to be able to share in the Christmas spirit just like everybody else does. Your baristas are human beings, your police officers are human beings, we’re all just people trying to have a good time and a happy holiday season."
Matzemn, who also helps with an annual gas giveaway where the department partners with Quality Car Wash and gives out hundreds of dollars in free gas, encourages residents of Holland to interact with law enforcement with kindness, just as they would with any other person.
“If you see an officer, no matter what city you’re in, go up and say hi to him and ask him how his day is going, and we’ll do the same to you," Matzen said.