Those looking for some extra face time with the Iowa City Police Department will get their chance Friday as local law enforcement and the Java House partner up for the area’s first “Coffee with a Cop” event.
From 9-10 a.m., visitors will have a chance to sit down and chat with Officer David Schwindt, the Iowa City Police Department’s Downtown Liaison Officer. By putting a face behind the badge, organizers hope to ease tension and attract those who find police officers intimidating or unapproachable on the street, according to the City of Iowa City:
It’s a simple concept. Police and community members come together in an informal, neutral space to discuss community issues, build relationships and drink coffee.
The majority of interactions law enforcement has with the public happen during emergencies or emotional situations. Those situations are not always the most effective times for relationship building with the community, and some community members may feel that officers are unapproachable on the street. Coffee with a Cop provides the opportunity to break down communication barriers.
Iowa City joins a growing list of communities taking part “Coffee with a Cop” programs, including Marion, North Liberty and Newton, Iowa.