Coffee With a Cop expands at Java Werks
By Lici Beveridge, Hattiesburg American
Original article HERE
Java Werks started Coffee With a Cop nearly two years ago to try to bring the community and local police together in an informal setting.
The meetings are from 8-10 a.m. the second Tuesday of the month at Java Werks, 2902 Hardy St., suite 10. Anyone is invited to attend and talk to Hattiesburg police officers and ask questions as they get to know the officers who are sworn to protect and serve.
Java Werks owner Cesar Potenza said in an earlier story that he was looking for a way his establishment could be of more use to Hattiesburg residents, so Coffee With a Cop was born.
Potenza said he approached Hattiesburg Police Department officials about the idea, hoping he could get a police officer to come to Java Werks to meet with customers who could then ask the officer questions.
Chief Anthony Parker came to the first meeting, which was attended by three community members. The second meeting saw an increase in attendance to 15.
It helps the officers and community members become more comfortable with each other, so they can reach out when there is a need, Parker said in an earlier story.
The Coffee With a Cop monthly meetups have continued.
In May, officers from different police and sheriff’s departments, fire stations and first responders attended Coffee With a Cop to honor fallen Hattiesburg officers Benjamin J. Deen and Liquori Tate on the anniversary of their deaths.
The response from the local emergency responder community and community was unprecedented.
Because of the outpouring of support, Java Werks has decided to expand the monthly meetings to include all area agencies.
To kick off the change, the September meetup will be held Sept. 11 — a Monday — to remember and honor those who lost their lives in the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The September event will follow the main 9/11 ceremony at Fire Station 1 in downtown Hattiesburg.
For more information, visit facebook.com/javawerks.