Daily 49er

CSULB to host Coffee with a Cop

University Police plan open community forum.

Meghan McGillicuddy and Daniela Alvarez, Staff Writers

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Students can enjoy a cup of coffee with members of the Cal State Long Beach University Police Department Friday morning at Coffee with a Cop.

The event, which will take place at the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf in the University Student Union, is part of National Community Policing Week, which was enacted last month by President Obama.

According to the Department of Justice’s website, National Community Policing Week is part of the Obama Administration’s commitment to build stronger relationships between the police force and the community.

The Hawthorne Police department first launched Coffee with a Cop in 2011 as a way to “interact successfully with citizens they serve each day,” according to the Coffee with a Cop website.

Now, it is a national program, endorsed by the United States Justice Department.

“This is a platform to facilitate questions between students and [police],” Lt. Richard Godwin of the CSULB University Police said. “Our mission is student success so Coffee with a Cop is important for students to know we’re here even when they don’t need us.”

CSULB hosted Coffee with a Cop during resident move-in day this past summer. While new students moved into the dormitories, police officers spoke to students and their parents about general safety.

“Most parents want to know how they can protect their loved ones,” CSULB Detective Christopher Brown said. “We offered general tips as to how they can stay safer in the dorms and how to protect their property… if you feel unsafe at night, don’t walk alone.”

The problem is not enough students are making reports. “If you feel like something should be reported, then report it,” Brown said.

The system UPD is trying to create is known as community policing, where police officers create a mutual trust and understanding among the communities they serve.

It has become a recent topic of discussion among the presidential and vice presidential candidates, especially in the context of a high point of racial tension in news media and in communities.

“There is more talk of community policing because there are so many issues throughout the country, like racial profiling. ” said Goodwin. “It’s a tough time.”

Students can expect to see Goodwin on Friday, as well as University Police Chief Fernando Solorzano and other officials of the department.

Goodwin said that ultimately, the goal of Coffee with a Cop is let the campus community know who is responsible for keeping them safe.

“We’re approachable, and campus communities have to know who their law enforcement officials are and who is keeping them safe,” he said. “I’m hoping we gain exposure… with this program, but I really want to see students come up and talk to the guys and have a dialogue. It doesn’t have to be profound, it can just be hello.”

Coffee with a Cop will take place from 9-10 a.m. Friday at the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf inside the USU.

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