PHOTO: The Rainsville Police Department will be a hosting 'Coffee With a Cop' monthly at Kelly's Kitchen. Participants will be able to ask questions about policing in their city! (Tyler Pruett | Southern Torch)
By Tyler Pruett, Managing Editor
RAINSVILLE, Ala. — This Thursday (June 29), the Rainsville Police Department will host it's first installment of, "Coffee With a Cop." Rainsville Police Chief Kevin Smith will be the first speaker. Coffee with a Cop will be a monthly event, and will be held at Kelly's Kitchen in Rainsville at 7 am.
"It's a program that's been going on for several years throughout the United States, and it's never been done around here. And I want the citizens I serve to know that we can talk. That if they need me we're there," explained Smith. "Basically to give people a chance to touch base with me."
According to the national website, "Coffee with A Cop" was launched in Hawthorne, California in 2011, as a result of a brainstorming session. Members of the Hawthorne Police Department were looking for ways to interact more successfully with the citizens they served each day. The Hawthorne Police Department hit upon a simple plan to break through the barriers that have been built over the years–a cup of coffee.
In less than five years, Coffee with a Cop events have been hosted in all 50 states and is one of the most successful community oriented policing programs across the country. 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.
While Chief Smith will be the first speaker, the department plans on a different division addressing the group each month. He mentioned that the patrol division, investigations, or animal control could be speaking at future events.
When asked what topics will be discussed, Smith said that the conversation will be guided by the public, as long as the conversation is appropriate:
"This is totally the people's. Whatever they want to talk about, we'll talk about. I'll have to guide some of it, because there's some topics that aren't appropriate to discuss in an open forum. If it's appropriate, then we'll discuss it, if not, they can come to my office and we can discuss it there," said Smith.
Be sure to join Chief Smith and the Rainsville Police Department at Kelly's Kitchen this Thursday, June 29 at 7 am!