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Blue Ribbon Campaign — Police Deserve a Cup of Coffee – (Keep It positive) Facebook Page


By Cornelia Seigneur

I have had  19,000 visits onto my website from 56 countries/territories of the world in the past week. From New Zealand and South Korea and Ireland and Mexico and South Africa and Sudan.  Even a reader from Iraq. The traffic shut down my website for a while.

Who would have dreamed?  Interestingly, I have always found stat counters depressing because I never had a lot of visitors, but something told me this May 18 Red and Black Blog post story could turn big when I began getting many comments on my post and when the media began calling; so I had my web guy add a stat counter, which I thought I already had. I am so glad I did because it is fun to know where visitors come from.

My website was so overloaded with “hits” to find my original blog post, “Where’s a Police Officer to Get a Cup of Coffee?” that the server had gone down several times the past two days. I had to upgrade to the next level yesterday (which will cost me), and still there were issues with people being able to find my site and leave comments for a while today. My web guy is a genius.  

I am just so amazed how this story has gone national and international. The interest and cultural dialogue that this has created astounds me. And that was the reason I wrote, to begin a conversation and to share my story and to show another side of police which is not as often seen in the media.

I have received phone calls and emails and Facebook comments from people saying they saw the story on Fox, CNN, The Oregonian, Channel 6 and 8 and 2, and 12. And they heard my interviews on the radio with Paul Linnman and Bob Miller and Victoria Taft. Someone said that Rush even spoke of this red and black café issue.

What my hope has been for writing this, and continues to be, is an open and honest dialogue. There are police tensions in this city and across this country. There is a divide.  Comments on my blog regarding this topic include total support for the police to how dare I even one good thing. I have had comments from both sides that I have not been able to approve as they are just name calling and foul language. That is what I was trying to avoid, name calling.

Bottom line though. How hard a job must be when the very ones you are trying to protect kick you out of a café? And, say they’d do it again, but this time sans serving coffee. To that end, someone started a Boycott the Red and Black Café page and I know they are well meaning, but I have an idea to move this on to a different level that is positive. Give attention to those doing the work. Move the conversation toward the original reason for my post — to show that there many, many, many people who honor Police.

So, in my attempt to keep things positive, I have launched a “Blue Ribbon Campaign-Police Deserve a Cup of Coffee” on Facebook!/pages/Blue-Ribbon-Campaign-Police-Deserve-a-Cup-of-Coffee/109371342442292

Launching this on Facebook makes sense, since that is how my blog went viral. I posted it May 22, but did not link it on my Facebook till May 29, a week ago, and that is when the comments started pouring in. My husband was brainstorming about a way to show support before I was to be interviewed on the Paul Linnman radio show, and  the thought of the Blue Ribbon for the Men and Women in Blue came up. I will meet with the Police next week regarding other ideas (but there are issues that get sticky). So, for now, the idea is to join the Facebook page and TIE A BLUE RIBBON ON YOUR CAR REVIEW MIRROR inside your car or on your antenna. I need to find Blue Ribbons. . . This Facebook Page is a start and a way to move this dialogue in a new, positive direction.

 When I asked the original question, regarding where a policeman can get a cup of coffee, I noted that there was a café a few blocks away called Palio Dessert House which my daughter and I visited after our red and black situation. And police are welcome there – which I made sure to ask.

Well, a blog reader sent me a photo today of a police at that Palio café!

 Wow fun. This is an example of what I am speaking about, about when I say I want to keep this positive.

Keep sending in those photos, and I will post them on the Blue Ribbon Campaign- Police Deserve a Cup of Coffee Facebook Page.

 And, here is a link on a current story about a police officer saving a life at a local eatery.

Also, in Saturday’s Oregonian’s editorial was nicely written –

Note: here  is the Fox story –  The reporter tried looking for my phone number.

6-23-10 UPDATE: Gathering Blue Ribbon Stories:


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Posted in Community Service, Gratitude, Justice, Life, Writing.

22 Responses

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  1. Sandy says

    YEAH for POSITIVE! I am with you all the way. Our police officers need to be praised for the work they do and I appreciate you turning the negative talk into a THANK YOU!

  2. Calfed says

    Anne Hohnermous-it is really the anarchists and that are “completely out of control”

    If you REALLY want to support the anarchist and green movement, join the movement to get rid of the worst of the eco-types.

  3. Faith says

    I am truly appreciative of the policemen that daily put their lives on the line to protect and serve us. Those that would try to defame them don’t deserve their protection, but have it anyway. Thank you to all those that serve!

  4. JS says

    To all the people who would be critical of the police and the job they do (in any urban city – not just Portland), just go for a ride-along with an officer some night.
    Find out who questions the suspicious people skulking in the shadows at 4 am.
    Find out who is tasked to do a next of kin notification when the horrific news of car accident has to be given to the family.
    Find out who joins the search for a missing child.
    Find out who puts their life in peril getting out of their car on a rainy, cold interstate to check an impaired driver he or she has just pulled over.
    Find out who puts their life on the line each and every day on the job just by wearing a blue uniform.
    Find out who arrests criminals, dangerous offenders, sex offenders, murderers, gangsters, drug dealers, thieves, vandals and drunk drivers.
    Find out who responds to a suicidal man or woman threatening to jump off a bridge.
    Find out who the man or woman behind the badge is and know they are caring, devoted, professional law enforcement officers who, by doing their duty and putting their life on the line, are making your city and community a safer place.
    Once you find out those things…try and justify why they should be treated as second class citizens.

  5. Bob Martin says

    Cops are always welcome at Grendel’s Coffee House.

  6. Brandie says!/pages/Navy-Blue-Ribbons-for-Oregon-Police/109492052430958

    Show your support for Police officers. :D. The point that we’re trying to make is there has been a vocal minority hating the police officers. The majority of people honor and know the police are here to protect us and we want to show our support and our voice in a positive way.

  7. Anne Hohnermous says

    dear LAO:
    Why are you laughing? Portland police are completely out of control, and you sit back and laugh? While your friends all get upset because a cop was asked to leave a coffee shop? What about the cops dealing anabolic steriods and human growth hormone?:
    If you want to REALLY support the police department, join the movement to get rid of the worst of the cops!!!

  8. Ed Cocks says

    Good work Ms. Seigneur! Hang in there.

  9. just here to help says

    dear LAO: why are you laughing? I fail to understand how the corruption in the Portland police department is funny. Oh well. Tie on that blue ribbon and wave it proudly. When ya’ll decide to SUPPORT THE GOOD COPS by GETTING RID OF THE BAD ones, then I will be right there with you.

  10. Peter Panfry says

    Coffee brew houses……just like police organizations and any organization around the world have bad apples. In order to improve the world, we all must show tolerance and understanding and deal with bad apples accordingly so that everyone doesn’t get painted with the same brush!

  11. Bob Repp says

    The cop that was asked to leave was a good ambassador for the City and the PPD. He probably would have listened if some patrons talked to him about some police abuses. This response from the owner demonstrates quintessential Portland narrow mindedness from someone who claims tolerance and diversity appreciation. Keep the change.

  12. LAO says

    Just here to help? Well, isn’t that a hoot? LOL!

  13. just here to help says

    Let’s see if this story makes CNN…

  14. just here to help says

    Oh yeah – the link to the news story in the Oregonian:
    “Canby steroid supplier’s cooperation with FBI spreads investigation to other law enforcement agencies, including Portland”
    By Maxine Bernstein, The Oregonian
    May 03, 2010, 9:20PM

  15. just here to help says

    Yes, I am also surprised that this non-story has garnered so much attention while the investigation into our police officers’ trafficking of anabolic steriods and human growth hormone has received little or no attention.

    So much for open and honest dialogue. I’ve noticed that anything truthful about the cops that isn’t flattering disappears off of your websites. Feel free to email me and explain how “open and honest” that is.

    I would love to actually communicate with you, but I expect that you will just delete my input and ignore me. Have fun having “open and honest dialogue” only with people who already agree with you. And by the way, thanks for boosting business at the Red and Black! : )

  16. tm says

    Thanks to you I went to Palio a couple of days after I wrote that article. :) I drove all the way down to that area, even though I live near Mall 205, just to get a cup of coffee. I love supporting local and soon enough I’ll be a regular customer at Palio.

  17. Margie McDaniel says

    Thank you for your kind words to those who protect and serve, and your positive approach! I live nowhere near Oregon, but will continue to support our men in blue (or whatever color their uniform happens to be).
    Tomorrow, by the way, is buy a “cop a cup” day. I’m in full support.

  18. Melissa Baker says

    Cornelia – thank you for your story, and I for one agree that name calling and yelling and adding to the anger is not going to help. Don’t get me wrong – the behavior of this cafe owner makes me really angry and offended. I understand those who say he “has the right to refuse service to anyone.” Well, then refuse service. Don’t take his money and THEN make him leave. That just adds to the original hypocrisy of “we strive to provide a safe place for everyone.” Clearly, their signs are a lie. A part of me would love to scream and fight and protest and make a huge scene to get out some of the frustration.

    I had another idea that I posted in one of the comment sections of the “boycott the red and black cafe” facebook page. Let’s put aside the anger, and make a real and tangible show of support for our police. I called the Portland Central Precinct and asked what exactly is appropriate to offer to our police, as many have wanted to give them gift cards or something else. The woman I spoke to on the phone (who was so sweet and helpful) did her best to get a good answer for me, but the bottom line is they have to be so careful as to not have it look like a bribe or get them into trouble. She advised me to call the Police Chief’s office on Monday, as he will have the final say as to what is okay. I promised her I would do so, and she was very grateful. Once I know what is acceptable, I will offer my time to set up a table somewhere and collect donations (whether it is gift cards, sealed bags of coffee, checks or cash to perhaps a fund for the families of officers injured or killed in the line of duty, etc.) and I will gather them and deliver them to the police. I am more than happy to do this, if for no other reason than to provide us all with a chance to really show our appreciation and love instead of simply showing our anger and outrage.

    I know I will need help publicizing this so people know where I will be and when. My first step will be to call the Chief’s office on Monday, and I will go from there. Thank you again for your willingness to share this information, and let’s get something done!! God knows the police could use a show of love and appreciation right now, with all the anger being sent their way lately.

  19. Dennis Rand says

    Thank you Cornelia for this site, maybe it will open up some of these peoples eyes and give them a better insight as to just what police officers really do. Its a tougher job than most people realize, ok so they had to shoot a couple people, that happens, rule number one, do not theaten an officer! If anyone. Was attacked they too would defend their selves. I do think Portland officers fire a little too many rounds at a time, maybe that could change but I fully back and support officers for what they do. I’m a retired sheriff reserve deputy, being actice in law enforcement for 15 years. I know first hand what they go thru.

Continuing the Discussion

  1. Gathering Blue Ribbon Stories | Cornelia Becker Seigneur~ Author.Speaker.Teacher linked to this post on June 23, 2010

    […] When I later told my husband about what Mr. Hennessey shared with me, my husband suggested I begin collecting these tales of acts of gratitude and kindness toward police as part of the Blue Ribbon Campaign that we launched on Facebook  […]

  2. Where’s a Portland Police officer to get a cup of coffee | Cornelia Becker Seigneur~ Author.Speaker.Teacher linked to this post on June 20, 2010

    […] Share and Enjoy: […]

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