Sgt. Billy Austin, of the community services division for the Carrboro Police Department, said Carrboro has already hosted two Coffee with a Cop events and received positive feedback from both. Chapel Hill officers say they think the program will be just as well received in their town.
“It’s just an opportunity to enjoy fellowships with officers that you might not normally get to meet during your regular day,” said Lt. Joshua Mecimore, spokesman for the Chapel Hill Police Department.
The event also gives residents a chance to voice any issues or concerns, Mecimore said.
“It’s important for us to know the people that we serve to know what their expectations are,” Mecimore said.
He said officers will document any concerns voiced by residents. If officers are not able to address those issues Friday, the department will contact residents at a later time.
Sgt. Bryan Walker said there will be representation from all divisions of the police department present at the event to answer any possible questions.
Walker added that residents are not restricted to what they can and cannot talk with the officers about.
“These conversations don’t have to be about the police department,” Walker said. “They may sit down with a police officer and find out that they have a hobby in common.”
Robin Clark, a Chapel Hill police officer who will attend the event, said it is important for residents to trust their local police force.
“When people trust you, they are more apt to be open and honest with you,” Clark said. “They will be more likely to share concerns, issues or problems they have going on.”
Participating in the event allows people to talk to the officers in a non-threatening, informal environment, Walker said.
“Most people encounter police after they have called us for some reason,” Walker said. “That is not usually an environment conducive to just chatting with an officer.”