Coffee with a Cop turns out dozens

By Meri R. Kennedy, Cranston Herald
Original article HERE

On Wednesday, Oct. 4, members of the Cranston Police Department invited the community to an informal gathering to discuss current community issues, build relationships and meet face-to-face over a cup of coffee. All community members were invited to attend. The event was held at Café International on Oaklawn Ave.

Coffee with a Cop provides a unique opportunity for community members to ask questions and learn more about the department’s work in Cranston’s neighborhoods.

“The majority of contacts law enforcement have with the public happen during emergencies, or emotional situations,” said Capt. Vincent McAteer. “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.”

Throughout the morning event, a few dozen residents attended, with some having direct concerns in their neighborhood; including stop signs and speeding.

“Coffee with a Cop and our many other community outreach initiatives have been extremely effective in establishing an open dialogue with the residents and business owners of our city so that we can provide the best police services possible while continuing to foster a mutual trusting relationship,” said Colonel Michael J. Winquist, Chief of Police.

“Coffee with a Cop was a success today and we would like to thank Cafe International for hosting us,” said Capt. McAteer. “We received great feedback about what is going on in the neighborhoods around Oaklawn Ave. and we will craft our various policing strategies accordingly.”