Sarasota Police to host ‘Coffee with a Cop’ on Thursday, April 9th at 10 a.m.

SARASOTA, Fla. – April 6, 2015 – 1:45 p.m.

On Thursday, April 9, 2015, officers from the Sarasota Police Department and community members will come together in an informal, neutral space to discuss community issues, build relationships, and drink coffee.

All community members and media are invited to attend. The event will be held from 10 a.m. until 11 a.m. on Thursday, April 9, 2015 at McDonald’s, 3875 South Tamiami Trail, Sarasota (Intersection of Bee Ridge Rd & S. Tamiami Trl).

Coffee with a Cop provides a unique opportunity for community members to ask questions and learn more about the department’s work in Sarasota’s neighborhoods.

The majority of contacts 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 breaks down barriers and allows for a relaxed, one-on-one interaction.

"We hope that our community members will feel comfortable to ask questions, bring concerns or simply gets to know our officers," said Chief Bernadette DiPino. "These interactions are the foundation of partnerships with our community."

Coffee with a Cop is a national initiative supported by The United States Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services. Similar events are being held across the county, as local police departments strive to make lasting connections with the communities they serve.

The program aims to advance the practice of community policing through improving relationships between police officers and community members one cup of coffee at a time.