A breakfast with badges

Sheriff's Deputy Brian Heischuber speaks to resident Bert Aranda at Coffee with a Cop event at McDonald's in Valencia on Wednesday. Michele Lutes/The Signal
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For some, a morning is not complete without a cup of coffee — and on Wednesday morning, a few dozen community members shared their morning joe with local law enforcement officers at the new McDonald’s near Six Flags Magic Mountain.

“Coffee with a Cop has been around for a couple years,” said Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station Capt. Robert Lewis. “Given the opportunity to come out here and talk about things they have concerns about is really the reason why we meet.”

This was the first Coffee with a Cop event held at the recently opened McDonald’s, at the intersection of Magic Mountain Parkway and The Old Road.

“It is important that the community can come ask questions,” said David Schutz, co-owner of McDonald’s. “(The community) can get their questions answered and get to know the men and women that serve.”

Community members gather at a McDonald’s in Valencia to talk with law enforcement officials. Michele Lutes/The Signal

Multiple SCV Sheriff’s Station deputies and California Highway Patrol officers from the Newhall station came out to answer questions from the community.

“Because it is a joint event between the sheriffs and CHP, no matter what the issue is the community members can come and talk to us,” said CHP Capt. Ed Krusey. “It’s kind of a one-stop shop to get whatever questions you have answered.”

“It takes a village to build a community,” Lewis said. “The community of law enforcement and public safety, we build that together as a team.”

These events are held in different locations throughout the year, but some residents still come from across town to have coffee with a cop.

Debbie Sligh traveled from Newhall to thank the law enforcement officers face to face. “You see them out on patrol but you can’t ever say thanks,” Sligh said.

“I have been trying to make one of these events, but I have missed them,” said Santa Clarita resident Bert Aranda. “This is a great opportunity for everyone to know (law enforcement) on a friendly level instead of seeing them behind you at a red light.”

Santa Clarita resident Tony Schutz, 89, came to support his sons, the owners of several local McDonald’s locations since his retirement from the family business. He also enjoyed a visit with some of the deputies.

“I work out at the gym with him,” Schutz said, pointing to Deputy Brian Heischuber.

Residents come with questions, or just to visit, but the law enforcement officers are there to help. Said Lewis: “That’s our job, is to help.”

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