By Mamta Lulla

Tri-Regioners can meet and have conversations with the local police officers over coffee.

Coffee with a COP, a program that started in fall 2016, aims to build relationships – one cup at a time.

The hope is attendees can learn from conversations, network – acquire connections, as well as advance the safe policing practices in the community.

The goal of the program is to improve the social wellbeing of the community.

The program started with a partnership between the McDonalds restaurants in the Tri-Region, Stony Plain FCSS and Spruce Grove FCSS.

A partnership between the ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­McDonald’s restaurants, Stony Plain FCSS, Spruce Grove FCSS, kicked off the program. The main purpose of the project is to improve the social wellbeing of the community.

RCMP detachment officers from Spruce Grove, Stony Plain attend the events as well as enforcement teams from Spruce Grove, Stony Plain and Parkland County.

This project will provide a safe environment where those who attend can learn from conversations, network, and acquire valuable connections.

The program aims at advancing policing practices through improving relationships between police officers and community members one cup of coffee at a time.

Here are some of the upcoming dates for Coffee with a COP in 2018:

Wednesday, January 24 – 9 a.m. in Spruce Grove and 11 a.m. in Stony Plain

Wednesday, April 25 – 9 a.m. in Spruce Grove and 11 a.m. in Stony Plain

Wednesday, Oct 24 – 9 a.m. in Spruce Grove and 11 a.m. in Stony Plain

The program started in Spruce Grove and Stony Plain after receiving success in Wetaskiwin.

There is no cost attached to the event. Participants enjoy free coffee provided by McDonald’s and conversations and learn and engage with the community.

City and town council notes show people of all ages enjoy the program. Residents enjoy love being served coffee by the RCMP officers which acts as an icebreaker and keeps the conversations going. Residents also enjoy seeing the police officers as regular people, during the interactions.

In the past, some of the residents have come wearing their Mounty gear which only intensifies the connection they feel for the local RCMP officers.

Local groups like Citizens on Patrol and local councillors have also attended the events in the past.

To learn more about the program, contact Deanna Butz, community development coordinator at Stony Plain FCSS at 780-963-8583.

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