East Brunswick police share cups of Joe with residents

Staff Writer

EAST BRUNSWICK–Armed with cups of coffee, pastries and time, the East Brunswick Police Department (EBPD) served as the host to  its annual “Coffee with a Cop” event, which strives to strengthen community and police relations.

Aiming to break down barriers and ignite conversations, officers met with the residents they protect for free coffee provided by the Colonial Diner on Route 18 on April 27.

Former East Brunswick Mayor Kevin McEvoy said he has attended the events several times.

“I [attended] Coffee with a Cop when I was a citizen, [then] the second time when I was mayor, so the third time there was no other recourse: I have to be here [and] I have to come and say hello, I have to come and show my support and I also think that by coming there’s going to be members of the community here who feel the same way and we can all have a conversation about what’s going on in East Brunswick and what’s right for East Brunswick,” McEvoy said.

Henning Kristensen, a resident of East Brunswick for 39 years, decided to attend to discuss his concerns about citizens speeding continuously in his neighborhood.

“I talked to [Police Chief James Conroy] and one of his lieutenants about doing something that would make sense and [Conroy] agrees that we could work together and [we] will push very hard to stop the speeding and dangerous driving,” Kristensen said.

Since the majority of contacts law enforcement have with the public happen during emergencies or emotional situations, Coffee with a Cop serves as a more effective time for relationship building during a relaxed, one-on-one interaction, according to the national initiative, which is supported by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services.

“We had a pretty good turn out today which I am really happy with. We love the dialogue. We get feedback from people [and] we really get to speak to people one-on-one so they get to know our officers and that is really what we are trying to do. Any kind of involvement in the community where we get to know people better, that is what we are here for,” Conroy said.

For more information about future EBPD events, visit www.eastbrunswick.org/content/204/299/.

Contact Vashti Harris at vharris@newspapermediagroup.com.

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