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Posted on: June 10, 2021

Coffee with a Cop on June 24

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Tannin to host the Marshalltown Police Department and Coffee with a Cop on June 24

Program offers opportunity to meet local officers, discuss community issues

The Marshalltown Police Department is excited to announce Coffee with a Cop will be hosted at Tannin, located at 125 E Main St, on June 24, 2021, from 5-7 PM.  All community members are invited to attend.  “It’s been a long time since we have been able to safely do community outreach,” said Sergeant A.J. Accola.  “I’m personally exited to kick-start Coffee with a Cop and get back some sort of normal, interacting with the community in a relaxed environment.”

Coffee with a Cop is an innovative program started by the Hawthorne (California) Police Department (HPD) in 2011 in response to tensions between the police and the community. The HPD wanted to help break down barriers, so they came up with a simple plan: Officers invited their residents to join them for a cup of coffee and a conversation. They called it Coffee with a Cop, and it has been spreading like wildfire ever since the first cup was poured. Today more than 2,000 law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve have participated in this program. 

The Coffee with a Cop program has received funding support from the U.S. Department of Justice’s COPS (Community Oriented Policing Services) Office, and its growth since 2011 continues at an exponential rate, reaching thousands of agencies throughout the United States and abroad (including Canada, Australia, Europe, and Africa). In fact, Coffee with a Cop was highlighted in the Final Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing as a way to build community trust and confidence.

Coffee with a Cop provides a unique opportunity for community members to ask questions and learn more about the police department’s work in Marshalltown neighborhoods.  The goal is to establish new bonds within the community and strengthen relationships already fostered.  “Coffee with a Cop has given me the opportunity to interact with the citizens in a positive way, which is something you don’t always get to do on regular patrol”, said Sergeant A.J. Accola.  “Every event we have provides me and other department personnel the chance to meet new people and get to know them and their story.  It also provides officers with feedback and information from community members that can help us keep the community safe.”  

“We hope community members will feel comfortable enough to ask questions, bring concerns, or simply get to know our police officers,” said Chief of Police Michael Tupper.  “These interactions are the foundation of effective community partnerships.”  A cup of coffee is a common bond.  It brings people together and creates a relaxed atmosphere which we hope will promote open and honest dialogue about how we can work together as one community to tackle the issues facing our community.”

The program aims to advance the practice of community policing through improving relationships between police officers and community members one cup of coffee at a time. 

For additional information, please contact Sergeant AJ Accola at 641.754.5725 or via email at aaccola@marshalltown-ia.gov.

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