Coffee, cops and conversation

Community event aims to improve relations between police and residents

Joseph Rios
jrios@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 1/20/20

When John Collins took the job as Englewood's police chief in 2011, he wanted to create a better relationship between the Englewood Police Department and Englewood citizens. He envisioned a community …

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Coffee, cops and conversation

Community event aims to improve relations between police and residents

Posted

When John Collins took the job as Englewood's police chief in 2011, he wanted to create a better relationship between the Englewood Police Department and Englewood citizens. He envisioned a community where Englewood citizens worked hand in hand with Englewood police.

“My whole purpose was (for Englewood police) to be a forward-facing organization for the community,” said Collins.

Part of being a forward-facing organization for the community includes events like Coffee with a Cop Day. At least five Englewood police officers took a break from their jobs to meet with residents for a morning of coffee and pastries at Nixon's Coffee House on Jan. 15.

The goal of the event is to open communication in hopes of improving relationships between police and residents.

“It gives us an opportunity to sit down in a calm, non-emergency environment and talk to people. We get to show (residents) the more human side of things,” said Mike O'Connor, an Englewood police officer. “It's a great chance to get to know our community.”

Englewood resident Mark Taylor said the event gave him the opportunity to see Englewood police officers for who they are rather than for the work they do.

“They're not all Superman, and (residents) expect (police) to be Superman. They're just human,” said Taylor. “It's nice to get to speak to them.”

Coffee with a Cop Day was created in 2011 by the Hawthorne Police Department in California as a way for police officers to interact with residents better. Today, every state in the country holds Coffee with a Cop events.

“You hear a lot of stuff about the distrust of officers, and that shouldn't be the case. (Coffee with a Cop Day is) all about bringing the community together,” said Matthew Baker, an Aurora resident. He attended the event because he wants to get to know police officers.

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