‘Coffee with a Cop’ goes beyond cream and sugar
With the goal of “building relationships one cup at a time,” the Easton Police Department hosted a “Coffee with a Cop” session, Friday, Feb. 16, at Benedictine’s Community Services and Training Center on Goldsborough Street in Easton.
As one of many “Coffee with a Cop” events that have taken place over the past several years, the event helped to foster communication between law enforcement and Benedictine staff and individuals. Executive Director Scott Evans described the event as a learning opportunity.
“We’re educating our clients on how to interact with law enforcement and understand social boundaries in the community, as well as introduce officers to what they can expect from our clients,” said Evans. “If it comes to making that call for support or assistance — it’s great to know that because of events like this we will already have a sense of familiarity.”
Coffee with a Cop brings police officers and the community members they serve together over coffee to discuss issues and learn more about each other.
Easton Police Sgt. Eric Kellner said this particular “Coffee with Cops” was an opportunity to engage and foster relationships between law enforcement officers and the clients of Benedictine.
“It turned out really well. It was a great opportunity for the clientele to see us in that light and in that positive situation,” Kellner said. “It helped them to know we are friendly and that we are approachable. It helped to get the communication flowing both ways.”
Kellner said over the last few years officers of the Easton Police Department have had specialized training for individuals with behavioral or mental health issues. In addition, the officers also participate in Crisis Intervention Training which educates the officers in how to handle a variety of circumstances.
Kellner said the EPD often engages with special needs groups at Benedictine and at the Chesapeake Center in order to bridge the communication gap and to establish relationships with the clients and staff.
He said occasionally the clients volunteer around the station doing odd jobs.
The next “Coffee with Cops” will be 9 to 11 a.m. Wednesday, March 28, at Heartfields on Port Street in Easton. Kellner said the event is open to the public but is ultimately designed to foster relationships with Heartfields clientele.
“Coffee with a Cop” is a national initiative supported by the United States Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services. Similar events are held across the country, as local police departments strive to make lasting connections with the communities they serve.
The Easton Police is seeking local businesses interested in hosting a Coffee with a Cop Event.
For more information, contact Kellner at 410-822-1111 or email@example.com.