Hillsboro Police Chief Darrin Goudy said one of the best ways to discuss community policing with the public is to sit down over a cup of coffee and “hash things out,” and an upcoming event will provide local residents an opportunity to do just that.
Coffee with a Cop, a national initiative supported by the United States Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, will give members of the community an opportunity to come together with local police in an informal, neutral space to discuss community issues, build relationships and drink coffee, according to a press release from the Hillsboro Police Department.
The event, which is open to the public, begins at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 3 at Momma’s West Main Cafe, 131 W. Main St., Hillsboro.
“Coffee with a Cop provides a unique opportunity for community members to ask questions and learn more about the department’s work in Hillsboro’s neighborhoods,” the press release said.
According to the release, more often than not, police only interact with the public during emergencies or emotional situations. Those situations are not always the most effective times for building a relationship with the community, the release said, and some community members may feel that officers are unapproachable on the street.
Coffee with a Cop aims to break down those barriers to allow for a relaxed, one-on-one interaction, the release said.
“We hope that community members will feel comfortable to ask questions, bring concerns, or simply get to know our officers,” Goudy said in the release. “These interactions are the foundation of community partnerships.”
Goudy told The Times-Gazette that the event is important for Hillsboro because opportunities to interact with police in a positive setting unfortunately don’t come around very often.
“I think it just presents a good opportunity for the public to come into a very relaxed setting and just sit down and talk over the events of the city,” he said. “It’s a way to allow the public to know they have free and unfettered access to their police department.”
Goudy said Coffee with a Cop aligns perfectly with any police department’s core values: to serve and protect.
“Bottom line, we’re here to serve them,” he said. “This is just one more avenue that allows us to hear all their questions, comments and concerns… I’m just really looking forward to it.”
According to the release, similar events are being held across the county as local police departments strive to make lasting connections with the communities they serve.
For more information on the event, contact Goudy at 937-393-3411 or email [email protected]
Reach David Wright at 937-402-2570, or on Twitter @DavidWrighter.