EPD to host ‘Coffee With A Cop’ event on Oct. 4

Published 7:13 pm Thursday, September 28, 2017

As a way to help foster good relationships within the community, the Elizabethton Police Department will be participating in National Coffee With A Cop Day next week.

The EPD’s Coffee With A Cop Day event will take place on Wednesday, Oct. 4, from 8-11 a.m. at The Coffee Company, located at 444 E. Elk Avenue in downtown Elizabethton. There is no cost to attend the event, but coffee and other menu items will be available for purchase at The Coffee Company.

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“It seems to be a neat program,” said Elizabethton Police Chief Jason Shaw. “I’ve been wanting to do it for some time.”

According to Shaw,  Coffee With A Cop is a movement designed to help break down barriers in communities between officers and the residents they serve. Shaw said the event will allow people to come out and meet the officers, ask questions, report concerns, or just get to know them.

“I’m excited about it myself,” he said.

Shaw said he will take part in the event but will probably not be there the entire time. “I don’t want to make it coffee with the chief, I want it to be coffee with the officers,” he said.

For the first time taking part in the event, Shaw said he felt The Coffee Company would be a very fitting location.

“I talked to John (Bunn) about it and he was excited to be part of it,” Shaw said. “I have to thank John and Lisa Bunn, owners of The Coffee Company, for their willingness to host the first event.”

Shaw said he first heard about the Coffee With A Cop initiative from his cousin, Anthony Shaw, who had attended a Coffee With A Cop event while living in another state.

When Shaw was named the new Chief of Police for Elizabethton in November 2016, he said he wanted to start some community policing initiatives to help the department become more active in the community. Taking part in National Coffee With A Cop Day seemed like a good start to his goal, Shaw said.

“We’ll see how it is received and how it does and see if we can make it a program we can do every couple of months,” Shaw said.

According to the National Coffee With A Cop Day website, www.coffeewithacop.com, the program was first launched in Hawthorne, California, in 2011 as a way to improve trust and build relationships between officers and the community. Since its inception, the Coffee With Cop concept has spread around the world with events taking place in all 50 states, Canada, Australia, Europe, and Africa.

“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,” the website states.