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'Coffee with a Cop' Encourages Strong Campus Community Relations

SUNY Plattsburgh students, faculty and staff were treated to coffee and conversation with University Police as part of an outreach program called “Coffee with a Cop” Sept. 5 in Amite Plaza.

Chief Jerry Lottie said the intent of the morning coffee break was “to give our campus community an opportunity to meet and have conversations with University Police in a conducive environment.”

A national program aimed at improving community relations, “Coffee with a Cop” began in 2011 when members of the Hawthorne, Calif., police department decided they needed to build a better relationship with residents. After six years, versions of “Coffee with a Cop” are held in all 50 states and in several other countries.

With the first Wednesday in October being designated as National Coffee with a Cop Day, University Police wanted to put a “unique Plattsburgh spin” on it. To prepare, University Police applied for a campus grant to help fund the event, which featured free coffee and snacks.

Chartwells Dining Service, the Plattsburgh Alumni Association, College Auxiliary Services, the President’s Office and the Title IX office sponsored the effort.

Bryan Hartman, vice president for student affairs, President John Ettling and Dinai Robinson, Title IX’s violence prevention education and outreach coordinator, were among some of the administrators, Student Association officers and Resident Life staff who attended.

Student Association President Vrinda Kumar said “it was a friendly environment” of people socializing and sharing stories with one another.

“‘Coffee with a Cop’ was as I expected it to be because University Police has been very proactive in collaborations and wanting to get to know students on a personal level,” Kumar said. “I’m looking forward to doing collaborations with them to have more events like this.”

Lottie said he believes “Coffee with a Cop” was a great success and hopes to do the event again during the next academic year.

“I’m pleased with the turnout and response,” Lottie said. “We look forward to continue meeting with the campus community.”

For more information, contact University Police at 518-564-2022, or email Lottie at [email protected]

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