Last month the Hannibal Police Department launched a new community outreach that periodically provides the public with the opportunity to talk with a police officer over a cup of coffee. Thus far, HPD Chief Lyndell Davis reports the program has been well received.
“I am very pleased so far with the results,” said Davis in an e-mail. “The reaction from the public has been for the most part very positive.”
The initial coffee stops were hosted by Mark Twain Dinette, McDonald’s and Country Kitchen.
“We already have requests to continue this program and add other locations as well,” said Davis.
While adding more sites is under consideration, the upcoming locations all hosted the HPD in June. The next three dates are Wednesday, July 17, at Mark Twain Dinette, Thursday, July 18, at McDonald’s, and Friday, July 19, at Country Kitchen.
“The events are from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m., although they tend to run longer sometimes,” said Davis.
While the initial outreach was to wrap up on July 19, that may not be the case.
“The plan is to schedule more,” said Davis.
Davis, who borrowed the “Coffee With a Cop” concept from the police department in Hawthorne, Calif., believes the program has the potential of being an important informational conduit.
“This program, if the experience remains the same, could serve as a valuable avenue of communication between HPD and the public we serve,” said Davis. “There is a considerable amount of misinformation out there in the public or in some cases a lack of information which causes some to draw erroneous conclusions.”