Ardmore residents are invited to the launch of “Coffee With Cops” set for 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. Thursday in the Smith Room at Ardmore Public Library.
What is “Coffee With Cops?” APD Deputy Chief Kevin Norris says the event is just what it sounds like
“It’s an informal setting and coffee will be provided. There will be a variety of members of the department there — some officers, some administration. It’s basically just an opportunity for interaction — a chance for everyone to drink coffee and the APD to get acquainted with the public and vice versa,” Norris explained.
So, what’s the catch? Is there some sort of agenda? Norris described “Coffee With Cops” as “open,” with no set agenda.
“We can talk about anything citizens want to talk about. If they want to learn more about the officers who are there, like why they chose law enforcement or why they wanted to work at the APD or even their perspective on different topics from where they are assigned, then that’s the discussion. If they have concerns, we’ll talk about them. If they have questions about why we do things the way we do them, we’ll give them answers. If they have ideas, we want to know what they are., If they want crime prevention tips, then that’s the topic for the day. If it’s just a time to socialize, that’s great too,” Norris said. “The whole idea is this is a laid back event, with no planned itinerary.”
APD Chief Ken Grace said he’s excited about “Coffee With Cops,” saying the event will be ongoing.
“We are really looking forward to this opportunity to have time to just drink coffee and visit with members of the community in a relaxed setting,” Grace said. “This is a chance for us to interact with citizens on a personal level, rather than during a call for service.”
Thursday’s event is the introduction of what is intended to become a new APD tradition.
“I’ve heard about ‘Coffee With Cops” and about how successful and popular it is in other places. It’s going on all over the country and I thought why not bring it to Ardmore,” Norris said. “What I’d like to accomplish is one event every two months or at least one event every quarter. The idea would be to have each ‘Coffee With Cops’ in a different location throughout the city. What would be the same each time would be the informal setting and that the discussion would be open to those attending.”
Grace added that while the overall theme of each event would remain unstructured, several factors would reman the same.
“Each event will be limited to right at an hour,” the chief said. “Each event will be exactly what it’s called ‘Coffee With Cops’ with different officers participating,” he said. “This is simply a way for us to get to know the citizens we serve and, in turn, gives citizens a chance to get to know us one-on-one.”
Anyone, group or organization who would like to offer a location for “Coffee With Cops” should contact Norris at police headquarters by calling (580) 223-1212.