Connection with community is focus of 'Coffee with a Cop'

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald
Officers from the Weed Police Department, Mount Shasta CHP and the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office donned green aprons and helped out behind the counter at Weed’s Starbucks last week as part of the Coffee with a Cop program.

Customers passing through the Weed Starbucks on the morning of June 19 had the chance to be served coffee by a cop. Officers from the California Highway Patrol Mount Shasta office, the Weed Police Department, and the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Department were present to meet with community members, answer their questions, address concerns and just get to know them.

The Mount Shasta CHP office shared that the event gives officers and members of the public an opportunity to come together in an informal, neutral space to discuss community issues, have coffee, and build relationships.

“Coffee with a Cop provides a unique opportunity for community members to ask questions and learn more about the Department’s work in Siskiyou County’s neighborhoods. 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 officers are unapproachable on the street. Coffee with a Cop breaks down barriers and allows for a relaxed, one-on-one interaction,” Mount Shasta CHP explained.

“We hope community members will welcome the opportunity to ask questions, bring concerns forward, or simply get to know our officers,” said Lieutenant Foster. “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 country 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.