‘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.