Some McDonald's drive-thru customers in Tyler got a surprise greeting on Friday from  Police Officer Chuck Boyce and his trusty sidekick McGruff. 

The Coffee With Cops event took place at the McDonald's on Old Jacksonville Highway. Customers enjoyed a free cup of coffee and the opportunity to talk to members of the Tyler Police Department. 

Keith Simpson of Tyler said he saw the event posted on social media.

"I took my wife to work this morning," Simpson said. "I decided to stop by."

Simpson said he loves the community and decided to take the time to support the police officers. 

"There are mistakes made on both sides of the law," Simpson said. "But instead of getting peeved and angry with each other we need to work together."

Franchise owner Kevin Lilly said he likes the event because it give people a chance to relate to police officers.

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Chuck Boyce, a police officer with Tyler Police Department, sits and shares breakfast with McDonald's employees from a McDonald's location in south Tyler early in the morning for their Coffee with Cops event on July 6, 2018. (J. Edward Moreno/Tyler Morning Telegraph)

"This is a way to give people the opportunity to learn how the police can protect them," Lilly said. "People can learn about the services available to the public and the guys love getting in the drive-thru window to talk to the customers."

Lilly said he has gotten very positive feedback from the community about the event.  

He also believes his restaurants serve as a safe place where officers can come in off of the streets and take a break or work on paperwork. 

Events such as this have become a common way for police to interact with people in the community through informal communication in a relaxed environment. 

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Chuck Boyce and Luis Aparicio, police officers with Tyler Police Department, engage with McDonald's employees from a McDonald's location in south Tyler early in the morning for their Coffee with Cops event on July 6, 2018. (J. Edward Moreno/Tyler Morning Telegraph)

Boyce said he takes the opportunity to get to know people.  

"I relate to Mayberry," Boyce said, referring to the fictional North Carolina town in "The Andy Griffith Show." "Everyone in town knew Andy and Andy knew everyone." 

Boyce is never without his McGruff the Crime Dog puppet. He usually has it tucked into his patrol vehicle and takes him out to interact with children and other members of the community. 

"I care," Boyce said. "I give everyone my phone number. I'm just a phone call away and I bring (Officer) Luis (Aparicio) with me. He keeps me out of trouble." 

Multimedia Journalist

I am a retired U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sergeant. After a 21-year military career, in Security Forces, the military police of the Air Force, I went back to college for a journalism degree. I started working at the Tyler Morning Telegraph in June 2016.

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