The Flossmoor Police Department hopes to build a better relationship with the community, one cup of coffee at a time, on Friday, June 9.
Officers will be on hand to meet local residents from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. at Bakewell Bakery, 1050 Sterling Ave.
“Coffee with a Cop” is a national movement that aims to build trust between the public and police. The goal is to provide an opportunity for the public to meet local officers in a friendly setting and learn about what they do.
This will be the Flossmoor Police Department’s first time participating. Deputy Chief Tod Kamleiter said the main goal is to give the public a better understanding of the daily job.
“The more people we can reach, the better,” Kamleiter said. “This could break down barriers and misconceptions about what we do or why we do what we do.”
Even though this is the first time Flossmoor is participating in Coffee with a Cop, it’s not the first community engagement program.
Flossmoor’s Citizens Police Academy (CPA) is a 12-week program designed to assist residents in understanding how their police department works.
Chief Michael Pulec said Coffee with a Cop will also help recruit for future CPA classes.
“You can take 10 or 15 minutes to sit down with us and meet us and talk,” Pulec said. “No agendas or lectures, just two people talking.”
He explained in most cases people have developed a set of beliefs about police officers because when they’ve met it’s been the result of a critical interaction. He said it’s a challenge that the police department is working to change.
“The majority of the time when you have an interaction with a police officer you’re a victim or it’s something negative,” Pulec said. “We just want people to feel comfortable and say ‘Hey they’re normal people just like us.’”