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Woodburn Police Department hosting first-ever Coffee with a Cop event on Sept. 19

LOGO COURTESY OF COFFEE WITH A COP - The concept behind Coffee with a Cop is simple: Community members enjoy a hot beverage with local law enforcement officers. The goal is to increase connections between local police and the community.The Woodburn Police Department will be hosting its first-ever Coffee with a Cop event on Tuesday, Sept. 19 from 7:30-9:30 a.m. at the Starbucks located inside Safeway at 1550 N. Pacific Highway.

The first Coffee with a Cop took place in Hawthorne, California in 2011, resulting from a brainstorming session among local law enforcement officers. Members of the Hawthorne Police Department had been looking for ways to interact more successfully with the citizens they served each day.

Community policing has long been considered a framework for establishing trust between communities and police. However, community policing has become more challeging due to shifting demographics, an increase in commuters and the introduction of different communication methods such as websites and social media, according to the Woodburn Police Department.

The Hawthorne Police Department hit upon a simple plan to break through barriers that have been built on over the years — a cup of coffee.

In the years since the first Coffee with a Cop in Hawthorne, Coffee with a Cop events have been hosted in all 50 states. According to the Woodburn Police Department, it's one of the most successful community-oriented policing programs across the country. The program has also expanded to outside the U.S. to Canada, Europe, Australia and Africa.

The key to Coffee with a Cop's growing success is that it opens the door for interactions outside of the crisis situations that typically bring law enforcement officers and community members together.

"I believe in community policing and that it is vital to a successful police department," said Woodburn Police Chief Jim Ferraris in a press release. "I've seen it work firsthand and I am excited to begin this in Woodburn. Our officers are looking forward to it and with everything that is going on throughout the country right now this is an opportunity for us to engage in great conversations with community members."

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