Many times area residents’ interactions with law enforcement comes as either a victim or a suspect, or in some other type of incident such as a wreck, but Tuesday morning Elkin Police Department is hoping to provide a new way to reach out to the community.
From 8:30 to 9:30 a.m., officers with the local police department will be helping serve coffee at McDonald’s on CC Camp Road as part of a national initiative, Coffee with a Cop.
Elkin Police Capt. Kim Robison said she learned of the initiative during a management class in Galax, Virginia. “They were talking about initiatives to get police and the public together in a non-police capacity,” she explained.
Coffee with a Cop began in California in March of 2011 by the Hawthorne Police Department. According to information on the program, it’s now been hosted in more than 2,000 communities in 49 states and has expanded to other countries.
“The key to Coffee with a Cop’s growing success is that it opens the door for interactions outside of the crisis situations that typically bring law enforcement officers and community members together,” explained information on the program provided by Robison.
Her plan is to have two Elkin officers at McDonald’s serving refills of coffee and sitting down and talking with community members.
“It gives people in the business a chance to meet then, see them and get to know their faces,” Robison said of the initiative. “It’s a chance for them to ask officers questions.
“We’re hoping it takes off, and if it works like we want it to, we might do it in other places and times around town too,” she said. “I’ve talked to other departments in the state and they said it is working well for them.”
She said Mark Soots, manager of McDonald’s, has been good to work with, and the restaurant is always busy in the mornings.
“If there are any other businesses in town that want to do it, please give me a call,” she said. “I’d love to spread it all over town.”
Two other upcoming events will have Elkin Police out in the community, Robison said.
On April 23, Aaron’s Rentals will be hosting an event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. which will include children’s fingerprinting and carseat safety checks.
Then on April 30, in conjunction with National Take Back Day, Elkin Police will be set up in the parking lot at Walmart on CC Camp Road from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. accepting residents’ unused prescription medications.
Wendy Byerly Wood may be reached at 336-258-4035 or on Twitter @wendywoodeditor.