IU Police Department – Northwest is inviting the campus and community to have 'Coffee with a Cop'. The inaugural IU Northwest Coffee with a Cop will take place from 8 until 10 a.m. in the RedHawk Cafeteria in the Moraine Student Center.
The morning’s meet-and-greet will be an informal conversation providing campus and community members the opportunity to ask questions and learn more about the department’s work, both on the IU Northwest campus, as well as in the community, most specifically in Gary.
“We hope that the campus and community will feel comfortable to ask questions, bring concerns, or simply get to know our officers,” said IUPD-NW Chief of Police Patricia Nowak. “It is important that the campus, and community, have an awareness of what we do, and how we serve. Building relationships builds trust.”
Most often, the interaction that law enforcement officers traditionally have with the public occurs during emergencies, or emotional situations, which are not the most effective times for relationship building, Nowak explained.
A commitment to community engagement efforts, such as Coffee with a Cop, has become more greatly embedded into the mission of IUPD-NW since Chief Nowak joined the squad in July 2012.
IU Police Department - Northwest Lt. Wayne James says the department's very first 'Coffee with a Cop' event October 1st is a chance to meet police officers in an informal setting. Lt. James says the IUN event is one of several that have been taking place around the country, including here in the Region, where Valparaiso Police have held a similar event, as part of a US Department of Justice initiative. Hear our interview with Lt. James online at News Audio on Demand here at our website.
Similar community-based efforts include the Citizens’ Police Academy, the Youth Citizens’ Police Academy, and the annual Shop with a Cop program, among others.
IUPD-NW is also actively involved in community-wide policing efforts by assisting in the crime analysis conducted by Joe Ferrandino, Ph.D., associate professor of criminal justice in the IU Northwest School of Public and Environmental Affairs.
The Region STOP team, a regional team of officers who work collectively to attack criminal violence and property crimes, also has the cooperation of IUPD-NW.
“The concept of community policing efforts is to build trust with our constituents,” Nowak said. “The IUPD-NW sees great value in getting to know, and serving the needs of not only the IU Northwest campus, but also the citizens of Northwest Indiana.”
IU Northwest sends out thanks to Comfort’s Catering and Darlene Adams for donating the coffee and facilities for Coffee with a Cop.
For more information, contact the IU Police Department-Northwest at (219) 980-6501.