Coffee with a Cop, an opportunity for Langley residents to discuss concerns with RCMP in an informal setting, is set for six locations in October, beginning with Aldergrove at the Si cafe on Tuesday, Oct. 25. (RCMP poster)

Coffee with a Cop, an opportunity for Langley residents to discuss concerns with RCMP in an informal setting, is set for six locations in October, beginning with Aldergrove at the Si cafe on Tuesday, Oct. 25. (RCMP poster)

Coffee with a Cop offers Langley residents informal meetings with officers this month

Program first originated in California in 2011

After a lengthy hiatus due to the pandemic, Coffee with a Cop has returned to Langley.

This month, there will be six opportunities in late October at locations in Aldergrove, Langley Township, and Langley City for residents to participate in the community policing initiative that aims to improve and strengthen police-public relations by bringing RCMP officers, volunteers, and community members together over coffee.

Questions about policing, about becoming a police officer, and other queries are invited.

The first two are set for Tuesday, Oct. 25, the first at the Si Cafe in Aldergrove, at 26310 Fraser Hwy. from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

On the same day, officers will be at the Brookswood McDonald’s, at 4061 200th St., from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

On Wednesday, Oct, 26, the Red Velvet Cafe in Langley City, at 20443 Douglas Cres., will host Coffee with a Cop, from 12 to 2 p.m. Then the Walnut Grove Starbucks, at 20159 88th Ave., will host from 4 to 6 p.m.

Thursday, Oct. 27, it will be the turn of the Crosswalk Cafe, at 9180 Glover Rd. in Fort Langley from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

And finally, on Friday, Oct. 28, the last session will be held in Willoughby, at the Creekside Coffee Factory, at 20202 66th Ave., from 3 to 5 p.m.

The idea for Coffee with a Cop, an informal way to connect communities with their law enforcement officers, was born 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 a cup of coffee with citizens and being open to dialogue.

READ ALSO: Traffic cops talk shop with Langley drivers

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

It is 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 observe 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


Have a story tip? Email: dan.ferguson@langleyadvancetimes.com

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