SALISBURY TOWNSHIP POLICE DEPARTMENT
A simple community policing event first implemented in 2011 in Hawthorne, Calif., has grown to an international scope as a simple way to promote communication and rapport with local police departments and the citizens they serve and protect.
Coffee with a Cop events were held Oct. 4 in small towns and large in all 50 states and nine different countries.
Supported and encouraged by the U.S. Department of Justice, Coffee with a Cop events seek to bring people together to talk over coffee, with no agenda and no speeches, just open and honest community dialog.
Officers from the Salisbury Township Police Department hosted a Coffee with a Cop event in a hallway at Lehigh Valley Hospital - Cedar Crest, near the hospital’s cafeteria. Cpl. Christopher Casey, the police department’s community policing coordinator, said officers made between 90 and 100 contacts during the duration of the event. Police met with visitors 9 to 11 a.m.
While many of the contacts with those at the hospital were casual and had a lot to do with the offer of free coffee, Casey said a number of visitors identified themselves as township residents who came specifically because they were interested in learning more about policing, and police officers, in their community. Neighborhood Crime Watch, as well as traffic on township streets and roads were among the topics in which residents expressed an interest. A couple from outside the area spent several minutes talking with Police Chief Allen Stiles about the tenor of life in the township.
Salisbury Township Manager Cathy Bonaskiewich and township Commissioners Joanne Ackerman and James Brown also attended the event.
This was the third Coffee with a Cop hosted this year in Salisbury Township, following an early morning breakfast get together in the eastern side of the township and an afternoon event at the South Mall Starbucks in the summer.
Casey said the police department considers the community events quite useful and community support already has him considering a number of venues for opportunities for future events.