Building trust between communities and law enforcement agencies is a never-ending process that includes a wide variety of strategies.
Not every solution, however, has to be overly complicated. In fact, some are fairly simple.
A lot can be accomplished if people just sit down and talk with each other, ask questions and then listen to the answers. It’s a way of getting to know what makes the other person tick, to walk in their shoes, if you will.
That’s why we want to commend Lewis Family McDonald’s and area law enforcement agencies for the “Coffee with a Cop” program they are holding Saturday at the McDonald’s restaurant on Cable Road in Lima.
This program not only has a lot to offer adults, but it is a way of building trust between children and police at an early age.
Coffee with a Cop will allow for relaxed, informal one-on-one discussions about community issues. Residents also will learn about a police department’s work. Officers will share tips for having a safe holiday, keeping your home secure, navigating holiday traffic or having a safe shopping trip.
There will be safety skits for children, a child’s activity center, a prize wheel and a surprise visit by Ronald McDonald.
Programs like these can be a big step in building solid relationships between police and their community. By talking with residents, officers receive a better understanding of the people they serve and what their needs are. Community members, in turn, can gain a better appreciation of what is happening from a police perspective in terms of crime and public safety.
Sometimes the public forgets that keeping crime down and increasing public safety is everyone’s responsibility.
The program is from 10 a.m. until noon.
Taking part are officers from the Lima Police Department, the Allen County Sheriff’s office and Shawnee Township police along with members of LACNIP.
The success of these interactions cannot be underestimated.