PHOTO: The second meeting of 'Coffee With a Cop' will be held tomorrow morning at Kelly's Kitchen in Rainsville at 9 am. (Tyler Pruett | Southern Torch)
By Tyler Pruett, Managing Editor
RAINSVILLE, Ala. — This Thursday (July 27), the Rainsville Police Department will host it’s second installment of, “Coffee With a Cop.” Rainsville Police Chief Kevin Smith will be the speaker. Coffee with a Cop will be is a monthly event, and will be held at Kelly’s Kitchen in Rainsville at 9 am.
The last meeting was held at 7 am, and Chief Smith hopes to change the time around to allow for others to come and talk who may have time conflicts.
“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.
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. "I'm not going to let this be an opportunity for people to come and bash cops, but as an opportunity to learn more about what we do in the community."
Be sure to join Chief Smith and the Rainsville Police Department at Kelly’s Kitchen this Thursday, July 27 at 9 am!