Coffee With Chiefs To Return And Include DPW Superintendent
Published: March 27th, 2023
By: Sarah Genter

Coffee with Chiefs to return and include DPW superintendent Norwich Fire Department Chief Jan Papelino and Norwich Police Department Chief Reuben Roach will be at the upcoming Coffee with the Chiefs, scheduled from 9 to 11 a.m. on Saturday, April 15 at McDonald's in Norwich. Also in attendance will be DPW Superintendent Ed Pepe, to discuss and answer questions about the upcoming water main replacement project. (Photos by Sarah Genter)

NORWICH — Coffee with the Chiefs, a twice-annual event where members of the Norwich community can meet and talk with the city's fire and police chiefs, will return from 9 to 11 a.m. on Saturday, April 15 at McDonald's in Norwich.

Visitors can enjoy free coffee provided by McDonald's, and talk one-on-one with local representatives to ask questions, voice concerns, and learn more about what their respective departments do and how they operate.

The spring event will include newly-appointed City of Norwich Police Chief Reuben Roach and City of Norwich Fire Department Chief Jan Papelino, as well as Department of Public Works (DPW) Superintendent Ed Pepe.

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City of Norwich Mayor Brian Doliver said he hopes including Pepe in the event will give area residents the chance to ask questions about the upcoming water main replacement project, which is anticipated to begin in April.

"We thought it was important to have him there in case people have questions about construction or the project, and everything coming before and after," he said. "NYSEG is already out there working on the gas lines. We’ll be coming right behind them with our water main project, and then the DOT will be working on paving at a later date."

Additionally, Chief Papelino will be giving out free smoke alarms. Attendees can sign up to receive alarms, and they will be installed at a later date by a member of the fire department.

"Chief Papelino is very adamant about installing them himself or having someone from the fire department install them. He wants to make sure that if I give them to you, they’re going to be put up. So this way he can walk away saying I know it got done," explained Doliver.

Papelino recommends homeowners have a smoke alarm in every bedroom, in the "common area" just outside of the bedrooms, in living rooms and dining rooms, and at least one smoke alarm on each floor of the home.

Roach, who took over as NPD Chief on March 3, will also be taking sign ups for an upcoming citizen's academy. Dates are to be announced, and Doliver said they plan to host at least one academy this year, with more to come in the future.

"We’re not exactly sure when we’ll be doing it, but if anybody is interested in finding out more about the police department, this would be a good time to come talk to Chief Roach and perhaps put their names down for a future citizen’s academy," said Doliver.

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"We’ll have more than one coming, but I think that we’re going to try to do one this year and the idea is to continue to educate the public on what we do at the police department. What we’re doing, some of the things we can do, some of the things we can’t do," he continued. "It’s a different world at the police department, so it’s important for the public to know what’s going on."

Doliver said the past two Coffee with the Chiefs events went well, but he hopes to draw out more residents to meet their local department heads and learn more about what they do.

"We feel it’s important and we’re finding any way we can to reach out. Historically we have always done an open house for the fire department, so we can reach out to kids and schools, talk to the kids about fire safety, and the police do certain things, the citizen’s academy will get going too. So we’re hoping to continue to find different ways to talk to the public about what we do. It's important," said Doliver.

"The opportunity is there. We want to let them know that we are there, and I’m committed to continuing to do this twice a year."