Coffee with a Cop provides a unique opportunity for community members to join local law enforcement officers in an informal, neutral space to discuss community issues, build relationships, and drink coffee.
“The main concept is for residents to voice any concerns they may have, whether it’s an issue with an apartment complex, or a street in their neighborhood, an issue with school, or an issue with traffic, there’s no topic that they can’t at least ask us about,” said Deputy Ray Wilson of the Palmdale Sheriff’s Station. “It’s also a chance just to get to know some of the deputies that work the local areas.”
About four local sheriff’s deputies, a lieutenant, a sheriff’s Explorer and a reserve deputy will be participating in Friday’s Coffee with a Cop, Wilson said.
“We’re just going to be mixing and mingling amongst the people, and they can ask any questions that they may have,” Wilson said.
‘Coffee with a Cop’ begins at 9 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 7 at the McDonald’s, located at 131 East Palmdale Boulevard in Palmdale. The coffee will be free and the event is open to the public.
The majority of contacts law enforcement has with the public happen during emergencies, or emotional situations. Those situations are not always the most effective times for relationship building with the community, and some community members may feel that officers are unapproachable on the street. Coffee with a Cop breaks down barriers and allows for a relaxed, one-on-one interaction.
“We hope that community members will feel comfortable to ask questions, bring concerns, or simply get to know our deputies,” said Captain Don Ford. “These interactions are the foundation of community partnerships.”
Coffee with a Cop is a national initiative supported by The United States Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services. Similar events are being held across the county, as local police departments strive to make lasting connections with the communities they serve.
The program aims to advance the practice of community policing through improving relationships between police officers and community members, one cup of coffee at a time.
For more information on Friday’s Coffee with a Cop, contact Deputy Jodi Wolfe at 661-272-2520 or Deputy Ray Wilson at 661-272-2478.
UPDATED 2/4/14: State Senator Steve Knight, as well as Yucca Elementary School Principal Pamela Egbert, will be attending the “Coffee with a Cop” event this Friday. Both will be taking questions from concerned residents.