Wyoming’s first Coffee with a Cop a success

By Hannah Davis, Forest Lake Times
Original article HERE

A morning cup of coffee came with a side of cops and donuts Oct. 4 at the Nesting Grounds coffee shop in Wyoming. The Wyoming Police Department took to the Nesting Grounds for its first Coffee with a Cop event, something leadership hoped would give the citizens of Wyoming a chance to connect with the officers.

“There was no agenda, just a time where we could answer questions and concerns,” Police Chief Paul Hoppe said. “I think it’s important we get out in the community and let people have conversations with us, ask us questions they wouldn’t normally ask.”

The success of the event was apparent before it even began.

“I got a call before I got there that there were people waiting for us,” reserve police officer Dan Gnau said.

It was so busy that the parking lot was full, and citizens were parking down the street.

The event was held as a part the national Coffee with a Cop event, a day where police departments across the nation are encouraged to host local conversations over a cup of joe in their communities. The police department in Hawthorne, California came up with the idea in 2011 as a way to connect with the community while giving citizens a safe place to get to know their cops. Every state in the U.S., and even countries like Canada, and across the continents of Europe, Africa, Australia have hosted the event on the same day every year. According to the event’s website, its mission is to “Improve trust and build relationships — one coffee at a time.”

Marv Rorvick, a citizen of Wyoming, made sure to be there for this event.

“As a retired cop, I just want to support them in any way I can,” Rorvick said.

“A lot of people came out and responded positively. It meant a lot to us,” Hoppe remarked.

Hoppe said though there aren’t any official plans, he hopes to continue the Coffee with a Cop event throughout the year.

“I’d like to do something like Cocoa and Cops for the kids.”