There is the popular notion that if you need to find a police officer, go to a Dunkin' Donuts.
What's not expected is that the officer will also be serving coffee, listening to customers and sweeping the parking lot.
But for Cambridge Police Sergeant Brandon Woolkalis, being a presence at the Dunkin' Donuts store slated to open this year in the small strip mall at 70 Concord St. – the site of the former Murray Sandler Skate Shop at the corner of Bright Road – is all about serving the community.
"I want to tell the neighbors and Belmont that this will not be a national business that only sells coffee. This is a true family operation that will be a part of the town from sponsoring youth sports to hiring people from Belmont," said Woolkalis, who has been introducing himself to abutters and close-by homeowners since submitting a business proposal with the town.
The Dunkin' Donuts franchise replaces a proposed burger restaurant whose owners decided not to move forward with their plans as neighbors had expressed concerns of odors coming from the operation.
The proposed franchise will come before the Belmont Planning Board Friday morning, Feb. 15, where members will discuss parking and other issues in preparation of a joint meeting with the Zoning Board of Appeal on Monday, March 4.
While saying that his store will take up the majority of the spaces on the strip mall in the morning hours, Woolkalis said the plaza's 20 parking spaces will be sufficient as his heaviest customer traffic will have ended before the adjacent bank and pottery store begins seeing their patrons arriving before noon.
"This shop will not be a destination spot," said Woolkalis rather capturing weekday commuters who are "stop-in and on-route" customers.
"We wouldn't be able to make our bills if parking was an issue," said Woolkalis.
Woolkalis – who is partnering with "Duke" Carvallo who owns Belmont's other Dunkin' shops on Trapelo Road and Church Street – will be a presence in Belmont as well as his Massachusetts Avenue shop in his hometown of Cambridge.
"I'm proud to say that I personally run my operations. I'll be here to listen to the neighbors and unlike a corporate store, I can change policy if it works to resolve any issues. I don't have to speak to someone whose across the country to have things done," said Woolkalis.
Being an officer – he's mostly on his motorcycle as a day supervisor in the Traffic Enforcement Unit ("I'm the one riding in front of the motorcades coming through Cambridge," he said) – and a full-time manager/co-owner requires working 100 hour weeks, seven days a week but working long hours is something that Woolkalis is use to.
"I grew up working a lot of jobs. I guess that's just my personality. I really enjoy it," he said.