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The “Coffee with a Cop” initiative is designed to improve police-community relations throughout the country, which is an especially timely goal given the events of the last few months in the context of what many media outlets describe as “mostly peaceful” protests.
Peter Newsham, the D.C. police chief, provided viewers of FNC’s Americas News Headquarters with the basic framework of this outreach program that allows cops and the citizens they serve to informally meet and discuss issues at neutral locations such as restaurants and coffee shops.
Even given the nationwide protests against police misconduct, Chief Newsham underscored in the clip embedded below that cops engage in many positive interactions each day with the citizenry that seldom make any headlines, which adds significance to this program.
“There will be a national ‘coffee with a cop’ coming up on October 7. This is an opportunity for people to go out, to sit with their local police officers. You can come and discuss these more serious issues that we’re having in our country right now, or you can even talk about small local things going on in your particular community and your particular neighborhood.
“So, it’s really a great opportunity for folks to see that police officers are human beings, too. They will see that the police officers are really a great bunch of committed people that are out there trying to do the right thing. And it’s just one of many things that we do to build relationships with our community,” Newsham told anchor Gillian Turner.
(Source: Fox News)
Turner observed that the confrontations that have occurred between protesters and law enforcement officers are hardly situations that offer the opportunity for constructive dialog. Chief Newsham agreed, adding the cops realize that the agitators are only a small fraction of the otherwise police-backing American population.
“You hit the nail on the head, and it’s been disheartening for our police officers to have to stand on the lines and to have bricks thrown at them and to have bottles thrown at them. And in some instances, bags of urine were thrown on police, they were spit on.”
“You know, our officers know that doesn’t represent a large majority of people in this city and across the country, who are more than willing to support our police. And really, I think when we have the events like coffee with a cop, we’re going to have a ‘faith in blue’ weekend, national weekend, coming up that same weekend following coffee with a cop. It’s events like that where we get to see how supportive our community really is of our police.”
According to the website that provides more details about the project that seeks to break down barriers between cops and citizens, October 7 marks the fifth annual National Coffee with a Cop Day, which occurs on the first Wednesday of October.
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