ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) - You’re invited to enjoy a cup of coffee with a cop. It’s part of the Albany Police Department’s participation in the nationwide Coffee With A Cop event.
People in Albany woke up early for a unique opportunity to grab a cup of coffee with a member of the Albany Police Department and suit up for a unique hands-on learning experience.
Albany Police Chief Eric Hawkins says it’s a unique opportunity for residents to interact with the police department in an informal way.
“They see us out and about doing our thing. They see us in uniform. But to actually get to see police officers, commanders, and the police chief in an informal setting like this and to really come and talk with them about things… it’s really a great way of interacting and improving police/community relations,” said Chief Hawkins.
Chief Hawkins met with Capital Region residents over a cup of coffee in his first Coffee With A Cop event as Albany Police Chief. He says it’s the perfect way to improve community relations, especially after the recent uptick in violence in the city.
“In order to address some of the violence that we’re seeing in communities across the country, communities must work with police departments,” said Chief Hawkins. ‘They don’t want the police department to solve their problems. What they want is the police department to work with them in identifying issues and resolving some of these issues.”
Part of improving relations, Chief Hawkins says, is simply understanding the job of a police officer. On Wednesday, various units from the department set up shop to bring the people closer to the job.
“We have the K-9 unit. We have the emergency services team, and traffic safety,” said Albany PD PIO Steve Smith. “One of the biggest hits, obviously, is the mounting unit, where kids go up and pet the horses.”