Community policing has long been considered a framework for establishing trust between the community and the police. However, over time the character and composition of our nation’s communities have changed due to shifting demographics, more commuters, and the introduction of different communication methods such as websites and social media.
The Hawthorne, California Police Department launched this interactive event in 2011 to break through the barriers that have been built over the years–a cup of coffee. Coffee with Cop events are now held in all 50 states and is one of the most successful community-oriented policing programs across the country. The program has also expanded outside the United States to Canada, Europe, Australia, Africa, and Latin America. The key to Coffee with a Cop’s growing success is that it opens the door for interactions outside of the crisis situations that typically bring law enforcement officers and community members together.