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July 25th: Coffee with a Cop Workshop

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The Center for Public Safety and Justice at the University of Illinois has partnered with the Hawthorne California Police Department to launch a national, Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS)-sponsored initiative to spread an important community policing project called Coffee with a Cop across the nation. Coffee with a Cop events are a simple way to break down traditional barriers and connect with community members in an open, relaxed setting.

It’s a simple concept. Police and community members come together in an informal, neutral space to discuss community issues, build relationships, and drink coffee. In over 100 cities and towns in 24 states, Coffee with a Cop has done wonders for community trust, police legitimacy and partnership building. Community members participate in Coffee with a Cop for a variety of reasons, but no matter why they come to the event, they are likely to leave with a more positive impression of the police. One of the keys to Coffee with a Cop’s success is that is removes the physical barriers that routinely exist between police officers and community members, allowing for the relaxed, one on-one interactions which are the necessary foundation of partnerships. Informal contact in a friendly atmosphere increases trust in police officers as individuals, and improves the image of police overall. This 4 hour-workshop will review the philosophy of community policing, explain how Coffee with a Cop aids in problem solving and relationship building, and provide helpful tools and strategies for implementing a successful Coffee with a Cop program. 


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