As a way for the public to get to know local law enforcement better and ask questions in a casual atmosphere, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department is holding a series of monthly “Coffee with a Cop” events in Carpinteria.
The next one will be held from 9 to 11 a.m. Tuesday, March 19 at Crushcakes and Café at 4945 Carpinteria Ave. The public is invited to grab a cup of coffee — and a cupcake — and chat with one of several sheriff’s deputies who serve their community.
There is no agenda, no guest speaker and no PowerPoint presentation — just coffee and conversation.
The idea behind the “Coffee with a Cop” program is to provide residents with an informal setting to meet deputies who work in their neighborhoods and talk about their concerns.
“Coffee with a Cop dovetails perfectly with our agency’s community policing philosophy and approach,” Sheriff Bill Brown said. “Peace officers and members of the community must work together if we are to meaningfully address the problems of crime, fear of crime, neighborhood decay and quality of life issues.”
Lt. Kelly Moore, who saw the success other law enforcement agencies were having with “Coffee with a Cop” events, wanted to bring the program to Carpinteria.
“We want this to be a non-threatening and engaging event,” Lt. Moore said. “Our hope is that we can break down barriers, build lasting relationships and familiarize the public with people who are there to protect and serve them.”
The Hawthorne Police Department was the first law enforcement agency to start “Coffee with a Cop” four years ago, and since then other departments across the country have followed its lead, including the Santa Barbara Police Department. In the future, the Sheriff’s Department hopes to bring the coffee events to other communities within the county.
There are three additional dates scheduled for “Coffee with a Cop” at different locations in Carpinteria.
» 8 to 10 a.m. April 16 at Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf
» 9 to 11 a.m. May 23 at Starbucks
» 8 to 10 a.m. June 17 at Jack’s Bistro and Famous Bagel
— Kelly Hoover is a public information officer for the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department.