‘Coffee With a Cop’ Program Across the Fairfield State Builds Relationship
By Kemberly Penton, Hall of Fame Magazine
Original article HERE
The Coffee with a Cop program has rolled out across the state this month, with an aim of building a relationship between police and the citizens. It cannot be denied that breaking down barriers can be difficult since it requires extra effort and time.
STATEWIDE COFFEE WITH A COP PROGRAM HELPS BREAK THE BARRIERS
Fairfield Local Area Command has been the Australian pioneers for the popular program which started to roll out statewide this month. The police officers have been spending time together with the locals. On Feb. 23, over 55 commands across the state will gather for a chance to grab a cup of tasty coffee and get to know the citizens of their communities.
It has been a big step for the local police department to allow the community members get to know them better. Superintendent Peter Lennon, the Fairfield’s Commander, said that it all started when he attended a conference in the United States.
He explained that he heard about it through the FBI when they were talking about “different community engagement activities” and he thought it sounded like a “pretty good idea.” After coordinating with the community leaders, Fairfield began hosting the events five years ago. The whole NSW police force also embraced the program.
Supt. Lennon said, “The strength of its success comes from breaking down barriers.” He shared some of the topics during their conversation with the locals which include international soccer, teenage daughters not cleaning their room, and even little stuff. He added, “We’re not talking to people, we’re talking with people.”
With a diverse people living in Fairfield, Supt. Lennon realized how “culturally important” it was to offer a cup of coffee to a “Middle Eastern person” because it means offering “your friendship.” He said that it is an opportunity to see police as “human beings” who do a job.
A COP BREAKS DOWN BARRIERS BY “BREAK-DANCING” AFTER RESPONDING TO 911 CALL
The Coffee with a Cop program, which originated in the United States, has indeed left a great impact in the community in Australia. It cannot be repudiated that the relationship between the policemen and the locals whom they serve are not that quite good. But with effort and time, anyone can break that wall.
In fact, a recent report about a cop who rushed to respond to a 911 call went viral. Constable Jarrod Singh of the Durham Regional Police Service in Toronto took the 911 call and dashed to the scene to find a person surrounded by eight people.
He said that any civilian who happened to witness the situation would certainly believe it was a fight. However, it turned out that it was dance troupe filming a music video in the street. The cop saw that the person who was surrounded was break-dancing.
So instead of calling out their attention, Constable Singh joined the group and showed off a few of his moves. The scene was filmed featuring the students who were impressed with the cop.