EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - The East Brunswick Police Department recently held their annual "Coffee with a Cop" event at the East Brunswick mall with sponsorship from Panera Bread and Cinnabon. At this event, East Brunswick residents get to converse with the local authorities to voice their concerns about the community and offer them gratitude for their service. East Brunswick Police Chief Frank LoSacco and East Brunswick Mayor Brad Cohen were both in attendance.
This is the first “Coffee with a Cop” event that LoSacco has attended as the police chief as he was sworn into that position in July 2019. He has attended many before as a member of the East Brunswick police force. LoSacco says that the purpose of this event is to meet his constituents in an informal environment and get to interact with them on a more personal level.
“We can listen to any concerns that they have so that we can direct our missions as a police department to better serve the community.” LoSacco said “Most people may not know who their police chief is or who in the community is a police officer, so this gives us a chance to reach out to some folks.”
The East Brunswick Police department does multiple events like “Coffee with a Cop” as a means of connecting with the community, according to LoSacco. Community programs such as Neighborhood Watch, Junior Police Academy, and the Blue Angel Program are always that the Police Department try to stay in touch with the residents. LoSacco says that they are always interested in getting more East Brunswick locals involved with the police department.
Bruce Diamond and Reggie Wright are both members of the community policing division in the East Brunswick Police Department, they are both in charge of running the “Coffee with a Cop” event at the mall. Wright says that the purpose of the event is to ‘bridge the gap’ between the police department and the East Brunswick Residents.
Diamond says that the community policing division has been doing more outreach in recent years, such as being in attendance at East Brunswick day and brining back ‘National Night Out’ to raise awareness of sexual assault. Their division also does a lot of events with schools in the district such as tours of the Police Department and having programs for those who aspire to join the police force.
LoSacco says that the biggest concern he has heard at the event is traffic delays and construction. LoSacco says that he does his best to assure the residents that the department and the county is doing everything that they can to speed up the process and make the roads safe. Diamond and Wright said they have mostly heard compliments from those in attendance and gratitude for their work
“We want to give people a neutral space where they feel safe to discuss those concerns and those issues. Overall they get to know us better and get to know the man or woman behind the badge.” Wright said. “Whatever concerns that they bring to us and come our way, we want to hear about it. That’s what we’re here for.”