On Saturday morning, the Apopka Police Department (APD) will converge on the McDonald's at Main Street in Apopka with at least eight officers. No, this isn’t a sting operation, and The Apopka Voice isn’t divulging confidential information from APD Chief Michael McKinley.
It’s called “Coffee with a Cop”.
“This is an opportunity to meet the community one-on-one in a neutral setting,” said Chief McKinley. “Instead of during a crisis which typically brings law enforcement officers and community members together. This will be a non-adversarial situation.”
The idea is for McKinley and several officers of the APD to meet with the public at the McDonald's on Main Street in Apopka from 8:30am until 10:00am in a public and open setting to discuss the community’s concerns, answer specific questions and simply introduce the APD to the people of Apopka.
This is the first “Coffee With A Cop” event for the APD, but McKinley expects it to be a regular occurrence.
Coffee with A Cop was launched in Hawthorne, California in 2011. Members of the Hawthorne Police Department were looking for ways to interact more successfully with the citizens they served each day.
Community policing has long been considered a framework for establishing trust between the community and the police. However, because of shifting demographics, more commuters, and the introduction of different communication methods such as websites and social media, the character and composition of communities changed.
The Hawthorne Police Department hit upon a simple plan to break through the barriers that have been built over the years – a cup of coffee.
In less than three years, Coffee with a Cop events have been hosted in more than 2000 communities, in 49 states and is one of the most successful community oriented policing programs across the country.
Official Website: Coffee with a Cop