Hamilton Police Service’s Coffee with a Cop gets good response

By Mark Newman, Hamilton News
Original article HERE

EMMA:49300443It was a chance for Mountain residents to have a friendly conversation with a police officer over coffee.

The Hamilton Police Service brought their Coffee with a Cop initiative to the Tim Hortons on Concession Street Jan. 30.

“It’s designed to break down barriers,” said Const. Ray Wong, who proposed the idea after seeing a similar program in the U. S. “Coffee with A Cop is a way for people to sit down in a relaxed environment and just have a chat.”

It was the first time on the Mountain for the program.

Wong said the 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. visit was well publicized on social media resulting in many people dropping by the busy coffee and doughnut emporium to speak to one of the officers on hand.

“Generally speaking it was kind of asking us how we like our jobs, what we’re interested in, it was general conversation,” Wong said.

Cesar Fortun was one of the folks who chatted with Wong and some of the other officers.

He said he spoke to police about a number of issues including drugs, break-ins and community safety.

“This is a very good chance to have a face-to-face with the officers in a way that is relaxed and normal,” said Fortun, who noted when the public interacts with police it is often during an emergency.

In Hamilton, Wong said the first Coffee with a Cop was held last November at a Tim Hortons at Cannon and Sandford.

Wong said they want to visit all three divisions and all parts of the city in the coming months including mall food courts and the campuses of Mohawk College and McMaster University.

The program runs every other month and the next Coffee with a Cop will likely be held sometime in March in the east end.

A date, time and location has yet to be set.