by Jane Cox
Coffee with a Cop events began in Hawthorn, California to open doors for interaction outside of the crisis situations which might typically bring together citizens and law enforcement officers.
Coffee with a Cop was adopted about a year and a half ago by Chief Thomas Weschler, who was appointed as Naples Chief of Police and Fire in 2008. In less than five years, Coffee with a Cop events have been held across all 50 states. It has become one of the most successful community policing known.
Naples Police Department has a long-standing tradition of community policing to break through barriers and to establish greater trust relationships among the residents of the City.
Officer Sean Phillips explained that these meet-and-greet opportunities take place in a neutral space- not in the police station and not in a home.
On a recent fall morning, Fifth Avenue Coffee Company played host to Coffee with a Cop. Master Officer Buddy Kent Bonollo established an inviting display in the heart of the bustling beverage crowd. Other police officers arrived by SUVs and motorcycles to meet earlyr isers and to share some conversation.
Everyone, like nurse Elaine Wade, had the chance to share their concerns for the neighborhood, what they love about what police are doing and what they would like to see change.
Captain John Barkley best described the success of Coffee with a Cop; “The Chief and every member of the Department stand behind open communication and community collaboration.”