By Katie Bisaro
The well-received “Coffee With a Cop” series will continue later this month at a new Town of Warwick event venue: Wickham Woodland Manor, located at 253 State School Rd., on the site of the former Mid-Orange Correctional Facility, near the “Field of Dreams” baseball field and pavilion. Wickham Woodland Manor is the newest Town venue that is now available for rent to organizations and residents for their events.
The next “Coffee With a Cop” program will be held on Thurs., Sept. 29 from 9 to 11 a.m. Coffee at this free event will be generously provided by ABDDCapital, LLC, owner of the Dunkin’ Donuts on Main St. in the Village of Warwick.
In addition to the opportunity for promoting the Manor as an event venue, the Warwick Police Benevolent Association, which is sponsoring the event, has also invited the administrators and members of two local social media resource groups to participate. The two popular Facebook groups that will be part of the event are the “Warwick, NY Parents Group” and “You Know You’re From Warwick, NY When…”
Creating a Positive Community for Parents
The Warwick, NY Parents Group is the next evolution of the Warwick Moms Facebook Group whose administrators recently stepped down and closed the group. The current administrators of the Parents Group – Kerri Fenton Foley, Nicole McCormick, Kristin Meola and Megan Cárdenas – want to “create a positive community of parents” where information can be exchanged for anything from where to find a pediatrician or plumber to where to hold a birthday party.
Megan Cárdenas noted that one of their goals is to provide a way to navigate to the best resources in the area. Additionally, the group which has about 900 members and growing, is planning to host events and activities for families to enjoy such as apple and pumpkin picking outings.
Cárdenas, the mother of two young boys, moved to Warwick last January. The group has been a lifesaver in helping her to find everything from doctors to places to take her sons. She wanted to continue the Facebook group as a way to give back to the community that has been wonderful to her and her family while caring for her 14-month-old son who has Spinal Muscular Atrophy.
Nicole McCormick, another administrator of the group, works part-time at a school for special needs children. She is the mother of three very active boys and has been a resident of Warwick for two years. She feels that keeping the Facebook group intact is important because it was a vital tool for her to use when she first moved to Warwick.
For group administrator Kristin Meola, the mother of two young boys, she found the former Moms Facebook Group extremely helpful and hopes to continue to help others through the newly formed Parent Group. Meola moved to Warwick with her family in 2010 and helps her husband run his local business from their home.
Kerri Fenton Foley, also an administrator of the Parent Group, is the mother of four children whose ages are 16, 13, 10 and eight. She moved to Warwick ten years ago and is grateful for “our little Facebook Community.”
“Years ago, it was not only hard to find other moms to connect with, you didn’t have the ability to ask a simple question and get another local opinion at the drop of a hat,” said Foley.
Nostalgic Entries & An Unsolved Mystery
Amanda Melvin, administrator of “You Know You’re From Warwick, NY When…”, oversees a Facebook page that contains nostalgic entries about the history of Warwick – people and places. Melvin, born and raised in Warwick, stumbled upon the group after joining Facebook in 2010.
“I immediately fell in love with all of the history and photos of Warwick and all it encompassed,” said Melvin. “After I refereed a couple of disputes and deleted some irrelevant and negative comments on the page, I noticed that someone had made me a group administrator.”
Although Melvin has inquired as to who started the page and made her an administrator, it still remains a mystery. Since then she has worked hard to keep the group simple. Many who post share photos and reminisce about their lives in Warwick. Melvin wants to convey her sincerest thanks to all of the members who have been essential in keeping the stories and pictures flowing.
When she first joined the group there were about a couple of hundred members. Currently, the group boasts over 3,800 members. Due to its size and because she needed help, Melvin added Dan Chisholm as a second administrator. Together they monitor the group to “make sure things stay polite and relevant to Warwick; try to keep the tone non-controversial and friendly.”
Meet & Mingle at Upcoming Event
Lt. John Rader of the Warwick Police Department explained that the Warwick Police Benevolent Association (PBA) reached out to the two social media groups and invited them to the next “Coffee with a Cop” as a way to meet and mingle as well as an opportunity to promote the availability of the Manor in the Town of Warwick.
Both the Parents Group and the Warwick Police Department stressed the increased use of social media as a useful means of quickly disseminating information, quelling rumors and getting facts out into the community.
“It’s certainly a useful tool [for] rumors about mysterious cars or helicopter landings, etc. It’s an opportunity to get the correct information out there,” stated Lt. Thomas Maslanka.
About the program itself, which will be the fourth event hosted by the Warwick PD, Lt. Rader said that this event is a great way to build and maintain relationships with residents.
“We want people to know that we are willing to listen to them and to help them with any concerns they may have,” said Lt. Rader.
The “Coffee with a Cop” program was started in Hawthorne, CA in 2011 by members of the Hawthorne Police Department. The concept derived when the Hawthorne Police were looking for ways to interact more successfully with residents. Since then, the program has grown, with events taking place in many states.
The staff of the program maintains a website, www.coffeewithacop.com, which provides easy and instrumental tools for police departments to use so that they too can implement the program in their communities. For more information about the upcoming program contact Lt. Rader at 986-5000. Any resident interested in renting the Wickham Woodland Manor for an event, should call the Warwick Town Hall at 986-1124.
Pictured in the photo (front row, from left) are: Jennifer Santoro, manger of Dunkin’ Donuts in Warwick, & the administrators of the Warwick, NY Parents Group on Facebook – Kristin Meola with her son, Levi, Kerri Fenton Foley, Nicole McCormick, & Megan Cardenas; (back row, from left) from the Warwick PD are: Officer Brian Luthin, Lt. John Rader, Chief Thomas McGovern, Lt. Thomas Maslanka & Officer John Harter. (Missing from the photo are Amanda Melvin & Dan Chisholm, administrators of the ‘You Know You’re From Warwick, NY When…’)