There were more local cops on the beat than usual in the Nowra CBD on Tuesday as the annual Coffee with a Cop was held in Jellybean Park.
(min cost $8)
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Officers were available to meet with local residents and have a chat about policing and other issues in a relaxed friendly manner.
Headed by the officer in charge of Nowra, Inspector Ray Stynes, general duties officers, detectives, highway patrol and Volunteers In Policing (VIPs) were available.
And local residents took advantage with a number turning up to chat with officers.
Events were staged across the South Coast Police District, including at Kangaroo Valley, Sanctuary Point, Culburra Beach and Ulladulla.
Inspector Stynes said it was a chance for community members to come together with police in an informal, neutral space to discuss community issues, build relationships and drink coffee.
“Quite often the public meets police in the most stressful of situations,” he said.
“The majority of contact happens during emergencies or emotional situations.
“That isn’t always the most effective times for relationship building with the community.
“The Coffee with a Cop program is a great way to break down barriers and for people to see we are just ordinary people. We are often all mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters who all live in the same community.”
He said Coffee with a Cop allows for a relaxed, one-on-one interaction.
Coffee with a Cop events also helps police identify the large number of communities in the area and reinforces the ease of speaking to police, reporting matters to police, realising that police are community members also – but with policing responsibility.
The Coffee with a Cop concept originated in Hawthorne, California, USA, in 2011 by Sergeant Chris Cognac.
The concept has been picked up and promoted by police throughout the world.
It has received incredible feedback from members of the local community who appreciate the ability to have a one-on-one conversation with their local law enforcement agency without any formalities.
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