On Thursday, Oct 24, McDonald’s in Lehigh Acres hosted Coffee with a Cop, an event meant to bring police officers and the community they serve together to discuss issues and learn more about each other over a cup of joe.
McDonald’s provided free coffee and cinnamon rolls throughout the morning to about 60 70 residents who got the chance to talk with members of the Lee County Sheriff’s Office.
“We wanted to sponsor Coffee with a Cop as a way to bring local officials and police together with the community. We reached out the Sheriff’s Office about the event and they jumped on the opportunity,” Sheila Robinson, McDonald’s director of operations said.
During the morning event, residents got a chance to share their concerns, or just ask questions and the officers were able to share some of the programs they offer within the community.
Robinson said that while this is the first time the McDonald’s location has held this type of event, they plan to do it again.
“This event went really well. We hope to do it every year during the month of October, which is the official month for Coffee with a Cop,” Robinson said.
During the morning, deputies helped out handing out orders and took care of patrons at the drive-thru.
“Really good feeling in the community. Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno led this event. He had a great story about his experience working at McDonald’s when he was 16 years old,” Robinson said.
According to Lee County Sheriff Office spokesperson Tiffany Wood, this type of event allows deputies to open up conversation and speak to members of the community.
“If someone has an issue or concern, we want to be there to hear about it. It also gives us an opportunity to explain to civilians why we tackle situations a certain way due to safety precautions. They might ask why there was a detour after a crash, or why a certain road was closed,” Wood said.
“It’s a community building experience and promotes more engagement. This type of one-on-one exchange allows residents to become more comfortable with our officers and staff,” she said.
National Coffee with a Cop day is a day dedicated to encourage communication and positive interactions between law enforcement agencies and the public. The day began in 2016 and is normally held during the month of October, and serves as part of National Community Policing Week.
For more information on Coffee with a Cop, visit coffeewithacop.com
To find out more about the Lee County Sheriff’s Office visit www.sheriffleefl.org/