The Iowa City Police Department will host Coffee with a Cop from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m., Friday, Dec. 11 at Daylight Donuts, 3560 E. Court Street. Coffee with a Cop is a national initiative that aims to build trust between community members and police officers, one cup of coffee at a time.
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. The majority of interactions 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 that officers are unapproachable on the street. Coffee with a Cop provides the opportunity to break down communication barriers.
One of the keys to the program’s success in other communities is that it removes the physical barriers that routinely exist, allowing for the relaxed, one-on-one interactions which are the necessary foundation of partnerships. Informal contact in a friendly atmosphere increases trust between police officers and members of our community which is critical to public safety and problem solving. Coffee with a Cop provides a unique opportunity for community members to ask questions and learn more about the department’s work in the City's neighborhoods. Community members come to a local Coffee with a Cop for a variety of reasons, but no matter why they participate, they are likely to leave with a better understanding and more positive impression of their local law enforcement agency and its role in the community.