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‘Coffee with a Cop’ set for Oct. 11

WORTHINGTON -- All community members are invited to "Coffee with a Cop,' a Worthington Police Department event set for Oct. 11 at Panaderia Mi Tierra. The goal of the event is to answer community concerns while enjoying a warm cup of coffee with ...

WORTHINGTON -- All community members are invited to “Coffee with a Cop,’ a Worthington Police Department event set for Oct. 11 at Panaderia Mi Tierra.

The goal of the event is to answer community concerns while enjoying a warm cup of coffee with an officer. The event will be from 8 to 10:30 a.m.

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“Coffee with a Cop” was first launched in 2011 by the Hawthorne Police Department in Hawthorne, Calif. According to the official “Coffee with a Cop” website, it is one of the most successful community-oriented policing programs in the country. It has expanded to Canada, Europe, Australia and Africa. The outreach community program gives residents the opportunity to get to know officers at a more personal level.

Worthington Police Department Sgt. Brett Wiltrout said the event is the perfect chance for residents to voice their concerns, questions or any matter they may want to discuss with law enforcement. He said it’s not easy to have a successful relationship between officers and residents, but it’s certainly possible to accomplish it through open conversations.

“Communication between the public and police is essential,” Wiltrout said. “Our mission statement talks about working with the community, and this is one more program where we can continue to work with the community.”

He thinks this kind of program -- where police officers and community members can have a casual conversation -- is a very efficient way to break down barriers and build trust.

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In a press release, Worthington Police Department Chief Troy Appel agreed that in order to have a safe community, collaboration between police and residents is necessary..

“It’s at the heart of our mission to work with the community to provide exceptional public safety and we need the public’s help to accomplish the best and safest version of Worthington possible,” Appel said.

Wiltrout said he thinks the relationship between the WPD and the community is healthy, and that it’s the result of a daily effort.

“Our relationship is built every day, from our officers’ professionalism to the programs that help build those relationships,” Wiltrout said. “It is not just one single thing that you can point out. It is the totality of our entire department, their attitude, their professionalism … along with the outreach programs.”

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Wiltrout mentioned some of the outreach programs officers are involved. Among them are Blue in the School, in which officers get to know elementary-age children. Another program is National Night Out, an annual nationwide effort to promote involvement in crime prevention activities.


“Officers not only take part on many outreach community programs, but there are officers also that are at the parks playing basketball with young kids and throwing a football on the street with a group of kids,” Wiltrout said. “Our officers are making it a priority.”

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