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‘Coffee with a Cop’ offers Langley residents and officers an opportunity for in-person chats

Modelled on successful U.S. initiative of the same name
Coffee with a Cop, an informal way for residents and police to meet and chat, is being held at multiple location throughout Langley Township and City this April. (Langley RCMP/Special to Langley Advance Times)

Coffee with a Cop is being offered by the Langley RCMP community policing section this month at a number of different locations and times.

Commander of the Community Policing Section, Staff Sgt. Bal Sidhu, said “we are thankful to all those who join us and look forward to connecting with members of our community over a cup of coffee”

Residents are invited to drop by to ask questions or share any concerns they may have about their community.

RCMP Cpl. Craig van Herk said it is one of several events they host throughout the year to connect with the community.

“We recognize that for some, speaking to a police officer in person is an effective dialogue in sharing what’s going on in their neighbourhoods,” van Herk told the Langley Advance Times.

“We are also taking this opportunity and using this venue to recruit community volunteers.”

Coming up, there’s a coffee event at Mattu’s Coffee & Tea in Willoughby, at 20678 Willoughby Town Centre Dr. on Thursday, April 13 from 1 to 3 p.m.

Another is being hosted in Aldergrove, on Monday, April 17, the location will be the Firehouse Cafe, 2900 272nd St., from noon to 2 p.m.

Then, Brookswood Village Starbucks, at 4064 200th St., will host one of the coffees on Tuesday, April 18, from 1 to 3 p.m.

Finally, in Langley City, the Cozy Bean Bakery & Cafe on the one-way, at 20493 Fraser Hwy., will be the host location for a Coffee with a Cop on Wednesday, April 26, again from 1 to 3 p.m.

The first Coffee with a Cop event took place in California in 2011. Officers with the Hawthorne Police Department, looking for ways to bridge the gap between civilians and officers, came up with the idea of having an informal cup of coffee with citizens and being open to dialogue.

READ ALSO: Traffic cops talk shop with Langley drivers

It expanded into national Coffee With a Cop Day, held on the first Wednesday in October, and celebrated in all 50 states.

It’s considered one of the most successful community-oriented policing programs in the United States, credited with breaking down barriers between police officers and the public, “as it opens the door for interaction outside complicated situations, which, typically, are what brings police officers and citizens together,” according to an online page devoted to the event.

”..there are no formalities: no agenda is followed, no speeches are given, and no reports or documentation is required. The conversation is held in a relaxed environment to make communication between police officers and citizens better and ideas are shared between officers and citizens. Coffee-with-a-Cop events take place at local restaurants so that the atmosphere of the encounter is casual and neutral.”

In Canada, some police departments schedule their sessions on the day, but others – like the Langley RCMP detachment – have different schedules. Police in Europe, Australia, Africa, and Latin America have also taken up the idea.

READ ALSO: VIDEO: Coffee, cookies and conversation for veterans offered by new Aldergrove Legion program

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Dan Ferguson

About the Author: Dan Ferguson

Best recognized for my resemblance to St. Nick, I’m the guy you’ll often see out at community events and happenings around town.
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