Quite right you are if you know them...now, about those cops you do not know, not in your small town, that do not know you, nor you knowing them. Ridiculous? Only in your limited field of view.Ridiculous! I live outside a small town. I've lived here most of my life. I know several of the cops. I stop and converse with them often. We address one another by our first names/nicknames. They see me and start conversations all the time. It is just friendly chit chat. They ask about my wife and/or daughter. It is 100% "consensual/voluntary". It is no different that if you and I were talking together.
I too know several cops in my small town. I too have similar chit chat, those I do not know...I stand by my comment. You, of course, may take a differing approach to encounters with cops you do not know...chit chat away.