LYNDHURST, N.J. -- Ever wanted to chat with your local police officers in a casual setting? Or simply want some free coffee, sweets and conversation?
The Lyndhurst Police Department is hosting a "Coffee with a Cop" event on Monday, Dec. 12, in partnership with Boiling Springs Savings Bank.
Coffee with a Cop is a national initiative, begun back in 2011 by a police department in California. It's now supported by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services.
Police departments across the country host events to promote community policing -- improving relationships between police officers and community members.
"This is a new experience with the LPD," Detective Vin Auteri told Daily Voice, "and we're looking forward to it."
He said it's not really about asking residents questions but instead about residents bringing their concerns to officers.
"It's a way to chat with people, get to know what's affecting them and their neighborhoods," Auteri said. "It's also for them to get to know about some of the programs that we have, and even day-to-day operations. Sometimes people don't understand why we do what we do."
In this case, the bank actually took the initiative and reached out to the LPD, after hosting other events in the area.
"We've been holding Coffee with a Cop receptions throughout our branch network," including Rutherford and Lake Hiawatha, said Debra Cannariato. She's VP of marketing and sales for the bank, which is headquartered in Rutherford.
"The bank saw a need: it's volatile times, especially for police officers," Cannariato said. The events give residents a chance to just sit down with and get to know their police officers better.
"There's nothing better than partnering with your local businesses and your residents," Auteri said.
"We couldn't be any more happy to participate. As our town grows, it's very important to build our relationships with the people we serve."
Lyndhurst's Coffee with a Cop will run from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The Boiling Springs Lyndhurst branch is at 753 Ridge Rd.
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