Five Years Later: Coffee with a Cop Continues to be a Worthwhile Community Outreach Program

In 2011, the Hawthorne (California) Police Department turned an idea into reality when it hosted the first Coffee with a Cop event at a local McDonald’s restaurant. Looking for ways to interact with the community, Hawthorne police officers thought that greeting guests as they purchased their morning coffee might lead to conversation, which might lead to improved trust.

Five years later, Coffee with a Cop has been held in every state in the country as well as in Europe, Canada, Australia, and Africa. The concept has grown each year, and during National Community Policing Week the U.S. Department of Justice designated Friday, October 7 as National Coffee with a Cop Day.

Held at the same McDonald’s where it all began five years ago, the Hawthorne Police Department celebrated National Coffee with a Cop Day in a huge way. From bringing in the agency canines to giving away Coffee with a Cop swag, the Hawthorne Police Department gave community members reasons beyond just coffee to stop by.

Officers and community members not only drank coffee but they also interacted, bonded, and shared laughs and even some hugs during those few hours that Friday morning. Families took photos with officers, children played with the canines, city council members offered their support and encouragement, and local faith-based leaders joined in on the conversations.

There was nothing but sheer respect and genuine appreciation for one another during Coffee with a Cop. Community members were grateful for the opportunity to interact with officers, and officers were thrilled to meet with community members in this casual setting.

For more information, visit the Coffee with a Cop and National Community Policing Week websites.

Najla Haywood
Community Policing Dispatch
Managing Editor

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The Woodstock Police Department – Honoring a Local Hero | Overview of National Community Policing Week | Inaugural Attorney General's Award for Distinguished Service in Community Policing | Engaging College Students in 21st Century Policing | 2016 L. Anthony Sutin Civic Imagination Award - Arlington PD & Arlington Independent SD | Coffee with a Cop: Five Years Later | An Assessment of the San Francisco Police Department | Are you on the Task Force Recommendations Implementation Map? | National Community Policing Week – Publications Release