More than 60 curious area residents dropped by to have coffee and doughnuts with eight officers from the Mobile Police Department at Coffee With a Cop on Thursday, May 18.
Columbia Southern University (CSU) sponsored the two-hour event, which was held at the Connie Hudson Mobile Regional Senior Community Center in Mobile. This national program, launched by members of the Hawthorne Police Department in Hawthorne, California, was created to bring community members and police officers together to discuss issues and learn more about the role police officers play in their communities.
“Coffee With a Cop is a great program that lets us interact with the community on a one-on-one basis,” said Officer Gary Owens, who works in the Community Services Division of the Mobile Police.
Owens, who organized the event, said most attendees posed questions about general issues relating to crime, police work and property concerns.
Public information Officer Donald Wallace said many attendees also had some kind words. “We got a lot of thanks for the job that we do as law enforcement. That goes a long way with us because there are a lot of times we do not hear it.”
This was the first time the 10-year veteran officer and CSU student attended a Coffee With a Cop event and Wallace found it humbling to “meet some of the people in the community to learn more about them and for them to learn more about us over a cup of coffee.”
Ashley-Nicole Flowers, program supervisor for the community center, was pleased with the turnout and interaction. “The officers are here to help them and that is what they are trying to portray. They are here for community engagement. So it’s crucial for a community center to program these kinds of activities.”
CSU representative Renee Wright echoed Flowers.
“I work with law enforcement officers every day, and they all want to protect and serve and come home to their families each day,” Wright said. “Today’s event, Coffee With a Cop, gave the general public a chance to meet and mingle with our brothers and sisters in blue, allowing them to see the officers as real people with real lives.”
About Columbia Southern University
One of the nation’s pioneer online universities, Columbia Southern University was established in 1993 to provide an alternative to the traditional university experience. CSU offers online associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees such as business administration, criminal justice, fire administration and occupational safety and health. Visit ColumbiaSouthern.edu or call (877) 347-6050 to learn more.