Residents invited to have coffee with a cop

BY DAYTONA TIMES STAFF

Area residents and officers of the Daytona Beach Police Department (DBPD) will get a chance to sip coffee and chat during an informal event next week at a local Starbucks.

Coffee with a Cop will take place at 5 p.m. July 29 at the Starbucks at 110 S. Ocean Ave., Daytona Beach. The event is billed as an opportunity for residents and officers “to come together in an informal neutral space to discuss community issues, build relationships and drink coffee.’’

Breaking down barriers
In a statement, DBPD notes that the majority of contact law enforcement has with the public happen during emergencies or emotional situations. “Those situations are not always the most effective times for relationship building with the community, and some community members may feel that officers are unapproachable on the streets. Coffee with a Cop breaks down barriers and allows for a relaxed one-on-one interaction,’’ the department adds.

DBPD Chief Mike Chitwood stated, “We hope that community members will feel comfortable to ask questions, bring concerns or simply get to know our officers. These interactions are the foundation of community partnerships.”

National initiative
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 being held across the county as local police departments strive to make lasting connections with the communities they serve.

The program aims to advance the practice of community policing through improving relationships between police officers and its community members one cup of coffee at a time.

For more information, contact Lt. Major Garvin at 386-671-5308 or via email at garvinm@dbpd.us.

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