Belleville police officers have invited the public to meet with them Tuesday for coffee and conversation in an informal setting.
“No agenda or speeches, just a chance to ask questions, voice concerns and get to know the officers in Belleville and surrounding communities,” is how a flier describes the event.
Belleville Officer Greg Giedeman proposed the meeting at PSOP after he attended an elder services officer training session in Champaign and heard about other police departments in Northern Illinois participating in Coffee with a Cop events.
“It’s an opportunity for the public and the community to talk to their local officers,” Giedeman said.
It’s an opportunity for the public and the community to talk to their local officers.
Belleville Officer Greg Giedeman
Giedeman said officers will first invite the public to ask questions and then they will mingle with visitors to have “a conversation about what’s going on in their lives.”
Giedeman said the department plans to hold other Coffee with a Cop events this year and that the meeting is expected to be a way to improve relations between the public and police officers.
Coffee with a Cop began in Hawthorne, Calif., in 2011, and since then police officers in every state have participated, according to coffeewithacop.com. O’Fallon officers participated in one this past Tuesday.
Cheryl Brunsmann, executive director of PSOP, which is a division of Southwestern Illinois College, said her group looks forward to sponsoring Coffee with a Cop. Brunsmann noted that the meeting is not just for seniors, and all residents are invited.
Brunsmann asks people interested in attending the event to call PSOP at 618-234-4410, extension 7032 to save a seat, but you don’t have to call ahead to attend.