ALAMOSA— The first every Valley-wide Coffee With A Cop was held on the morning of Saturday, March 2 at Starbucks in Alamosa. Representatives from many of the Valley’s law enforcement agencies dropped by throughout three hours to have coffee, light snacks and casual conversation with community members.
Spotted throughout the morning were members of the Monte Vista Police Department, Alamosa Police Department, La Jara Police Department, Colorado State Patrol, Rio Grande Sheriff’s Office and Alamosa Sheriff’s Office. Coffeegoers and Starbucks staff enjoyed meeting the officers, thanking them for their service, asking questions and even sharing some laughs.
Coffee With A Cop is a national program that was introduced to the San Luis Valley last year by Monte Vista Police Chief John Rosecrans. Rosecrans has held consistent monthly meetings to listen to community members and always has a conversation topic prepared. The program has since been introduced in Del Norte and South Fork and as of Saturday to the city of Alamosa.
According to the program’s website, Coffee with A Cop was launched in Hawthorne, California in 2011 when officers from the Hawthorne Police Department were looking for ways to interact more successfully with the citizens they served each day.
Community policing has long been considered a framework for establishing trust between the community and the police. However, over time the character and composition of our nation’s communities have changed due to shifting demographics, more commuters and the introduction of different communication methods such as websites and social media.
The Hawthorne Police Department hit upon a simple plan to break through the barriers that have been built over the years–a cup of coffee.
Coffee with a Cop events are now held in all 50 states and is one of the most successful community-oriented policing programs across the country. The program has also expanded to outside the Unites States to Canada, Europe, Australia, Africa, and Latin America. 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.
The next Monte Vista specific Coffee With a Cop will be held this Saturday, March 9 beginning at 8 a.m. at the Mountain View Restaurant with Chief John Rosecrans and possibly other members of the Monte Vista Police Department and Rio Grande Sheriff’s Office.