GPD offering Coffee with a Cop Thursday

Published 11:43 pm Friday, November 10, 2017

Coffee is the adhesive that often forms a bond between first-time daters, businessmen and everyone in between on the social spectrum.

This Thursday, the Greenville Police Department is looking to reinforce its own bonds with the community with its latest initiative, Coffee with a Cop.

The meet-and-greet, slated for 7:30 a.m. until 8:30 a.m. at MO’s JO and Expresso on Greenville Bypass, serves as an opportunity to easy tensions and remove communication barriers between the officers of the Greenville Police Department and the members of the community they serve.

Greenville Police Department chief Justin Lovvorn said that he and his top staffers—including the head of investigations, patrols and other departments—would be on hand to field any questions and concerns the public brings forth.

“We’re open to any comments, questions or suggestions the public may have,” Lovvorn said. “And in doing that, my goal is met. Even if it’s a negative comment that they have about the department that they want to see improved, we’re still building that relationship up to let them know that we are concerned about those kinds of things too.

“We want to know what the public thinks, and I want to be available to the public to listen to their concerns about the police department and the city as a whole. And the only way to do that is to get out there in functions like this, because not everyone is going to come to you and let you know something unless you ask.”

Lovvorn said that he chose neutral territory as opposed to the potentially intimidating nature of a police department in an effort to “get out to where the public is,” and to help be more a part of the community at large.

The Coffee with a Cop initiative is similar to what Georgiana police chief Carlton Cook instituted earlier this year.  Lovvorn said that his input was useful in developing the department’s own program.

And though several departments are holding similar functions around the country, Lovvorn added that few communities stand to benefit from such an event like a small, close-knit one.

“It’ll benefit any department or community, but it has a bigger impact in a smaller community because you don’t have to know as many people for it to make as big of a difference,” he added.

“If you know four or five people, those four or five people will probably know half of the people in a community. And it’ll spread that way.  In bigger cities, those four or five people won’t make a drop in the bucket.”