On Thursday, Nov. 21, officers from the Ridgefield Police Department and community members will come together to discuss community issues, build relationships, and drink coffee.

All community members are invited to attend “Coffee with a Cop,” which begins at 11 a.m. at Tazza Café located at 408 Main Street.

“Coffee with a Cop” provides an opportunity for community members to ask questions and learn more about the department’s work in Ridgefield’s neighborhoods.

The majority of contacts that law enforcement has with the public happens during emergencies, or emotional situations. Those situations are not always the most effective times for relationship building with the community, and some community members may feel that officers are unapproachable on the street. Coffee with a Cop is designed to break down barriers and allows for a relaxed, one-on-one interaction.

“We hope that community members will feel comfortable to ask questions, bring concerns, or simply get to know our officers,” said Capt. Shawn Platt. “These interactions are the foundation of community partnerships.”

Coffee with a Cop is a national initiative supported by the United States Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services. Similar events are being held across the county, as local police departments strive to make lasting connections with the communities they serve.

The program aims to advance the practice of community policing through improving relationships between police officers and community members.