IMMOKALEE — Dunkin’ and the Collier County Sheriff’s Office teamed up early Wednesday morning to bring Coffee with a Cop to Immokalee area residents.
Lt. Joe Ellis, Sgt. Ken Newell, Cpl. Jason Velazquez and Cpl. Mike Taylor served free coffee and donuts to customers as part of their community policing initiative.
The program aims to advance the practice of community policing by building relationships between police officers and community members one cup of coffee at a time.
Launched in Hawthorne, California in 2011, Coffee with a Cop was created as a way to break through communication barriers between the Hawthorne Police Department and members of the community.
The program has been such a success that Coffee with a Cop is now available in all 50 states and is offered in Australia, Europe, Africa and in Latin America. The Department of Justice also supports the program.
“It goes back to the old fashion way of doing policing; getting out of the car and actually conversing with people and not waiting for them to call us in an emergency,” said Chief Cam Sanchez with the Santa Barbara Police Department.
The Collier County Sheriff’s Office hosts similar events throughout the county at various Dunkin’ locations. Additionally, they’ve had great success with their Slurpee with a Cop events held at local 7-Eleven stores.