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LETTER: 'Coffee with a Cop' builds community

LETTER: 'Coffee with a Cop' builds community

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‘Coffee with a Cop’ builds community

The latest scandal in downtown Fredericksburg illustrates exactly how far we have left the notion of community behind.

Agora Coffee intended to host a “Coffee with a Cop.” They received enough backlash and hatred to cancel the event. And then their announcement of the cancellation received an incredible amount of hatred and calls for boycotts.

“Coffee with a Cop” is an idea that was established in 2011 to break through the barriers between police officers and their community members. It is a nonprofit organization active in all 50 states. The goal is to provide a moment where citizens might connect with local officers to bring their concerns, ask for help, or offer suggestions.

Connection, in a word, over coffee.

The citizens of Fredericksburg and its surrounding areas all know the same emergency phone number: 911. If you are in a car accident, if your house is on fire, if someone is having a medical emergency or if you’ve been robbed, you will call the police.

However, if you’re a victim of a hate crime, abuse, domestic violence or sexual assault, you are less likely to call 911.

Events like “Coffee with a Cop” allow community members a chance to forge a connection that might encourage them to break through the fear and stand up for themselves, their families or their neighbors.

Agora Coffee should not be vilified for welcoming a chance to build a stronger community. We should be ashamed that a local business has been attacked for trying to help us all.

Kelly Sienkowski

Stafford

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