By Manu Ferreira
Champaign Police Department has announced the return of the “Coffee with a Cop”. The event is an opportunity for residents to meet with police officers to ask questions, share concerns, and get to know each other.
The goal of “Coffee with a Cop” is to break down barriers and offer time for one-on-one interaction in a relaxed setting to help bring Champaign-Urbana residents closer. Usually, most of the contact officers have with the community happens during emergencies, which doesn’t encourage them to build a relationship. Besides, the public may also be hesitant to approach officers while they’re on duty.
“Whether it’s sharing a personal concern or just discussing the weather, an opportunity for engagement between our residents and Officers is always welcome, and I hope that all who can attend will join us,” said Interim Chief of Police Tom Petrilli. “Coffee with a Cop gives us a chance for open dialogue, and we look forward to a good morning of conversation.”
It is important to observe that Champaign Police Department is currently down on 26 officers from its authorized maximum, while the Urbana Police Department is down on about two. That means the event is a good opportunity to also thank the officers for the extra work they have been doing.
The first “Coffee with a Cop” of this year will take place on Friday, March 11th, from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. at Café Kopi on Walnut Street. Coffee is complimentary for those participating.
Coffee with a Cop is a nationally recognized initiative supported by The United States Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services. Events are held across the country, to advance the practice of community policing. For more information, visit www.coffeewithacop.com.