LIVINGSTON, NJ — As part of a national initiative to “build relationships one cup at a time,” the Livingston Police Department hosted its fourth Coffee With a Cop event on Wednesday at the new Starbucks Coffee now located at 288 Eisenhower Parkway.
Across the country, local police departments hosted similar events as an opportunity to meet residents in an informal, friendly setting. In Livingston, many members of the department were enthusiastic about enjoying a sunny afternoon with members of the community and discussing various community issues with them.
“This is a way for us to speak to residents informally—if they have any complaints or concerns they can bring those, but they could also just come and meet the officers that work in their neighborhoods,” said Officer Joy Klapal. “We want to be part of the community. A lot of the officers grew up in town and even if they didn’t, they’re very vested in this town.”
Klapal said the officers were very enthusiastic about the turnout on Wednesday and to see familiar faces from previous Coffee With a Cop events. She was also excited to be at the new Starbucks, which she approached about hosting the event before it even opened.
There were no agendas or speeches involved in this event, as the department has found that residents are more inclined to voice their concerns in an unintimidating setting.
More Coffee With a Cop events will be hosted in the future at various locations and times to accommodate residents’ busy schedules.