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Hillsdale Police Department hosts ‘Coffee with a Cop’ event

Officers+Travis+Woods+and+German+Decena+are+among+the+group+of+cops+that+participated+in+the+event.+
Officers Travis Woods and German Decena are among the group of cops that participated in the event.

Officers Travis Woods and German Decena are among the group of cops that participated in the event.

Courtesy of the Hillsdale Police Department

Courtesy of the Hillsdale Police Department

Officers Travis Woods and German Decena are among the group of cops that participated in the event.

Madison Gallo and Kayla Barry

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Wednesday was ‘National Coffee with a Cop’ day. In honor of this day, the Hillsdale Police Department held its own ‘Coffee with a Cop’ event at the Hillsdale Starbucks from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Sergeant Chris Cognac of the Hawthorne Police Department in California was one of the founders of ‘Coffee with a Cop’ back in March of 2011. He is now the main National Instructor for the event.

According to Cognac, it has become the largest community police program in the world with it now being in 15 countries and in four different languages.

“We needed a way to communicate better instead of the traditional town hall meeting session that the police typically have; we wanted something different,” Cognac said. “We wanted to get to know the community on a human level.””

— Sergeant Chris Cognac

‘Coffee with a Cop’ was established to build a relationship between the community and the cops of that community.

“It’s really important that the police officers working in a community have a positive relationship with the people in that community,” Hillsdale resident Noreen Buoie said.

Detective Sergeant Adam Hampton of the Hillsdale Police Department learned about ‘Coffee with a Cop’ on a law enforcement website.

“[‘Coffee with a Cop’] fits into our core values. It’s all about community outreach, getting involved with the community, and changing the perceptions of law enforcement,” Hampton said.

Hampton is a Certified Community Policing Officer. He has taken charge of holding many other community outreach events such as the Abduction Awareness Program, Open House, Memorial Day Parade, and a Fun-Run he has coordinated a few times. For almost the entirety of his career, he has been leading and partaking in community based events.  

“It’s our job to make sure that we’re in touch with our community, if you’re not in touch with your community, you can’t do your job,” Hampton said. “It’s very important for us to be outreaching to our community on a constant basis.”

Hampton introduced the ‘Coffee with a Cop’ event to Hillsdale four years ago. The police department tries to host this event two-three times a year, usually at varying locations.

“We want to have an image that police officers are approachable because behind the uniform we’re just like everybody else. Sometimes the uniform can be an impending presence; we want to break all that down,” Captain Sean Smith said. “We just want to talk to people.”

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Pascack Valley High School's Official News Site: Where there's smoke, there's fire.
Hillsdale Police Department hosts ‘Coffee with a Cop’ event