LPD officers work to connect with community over coffee

Published 10:00 am Saturday, July 29, 2023

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As a part of the LaGrange Police Department’s outreach program, Coffee with a Cop has been making waves in showing residents that police officers are people too.

Currently championed by LPD Officer Bryant Mosley, Coffee with a Cop is an initiative meant to bring local law enforcement agencies together with the community.

“My goal this summer was to put more initiatives in place where the focal point was getting to know the community. Coffee with a Cop gave us an opportunity where we could sit down and have genuine conversations with people of all cultures and ages. I think this go around has been really successful,” Mosley said.

Through the program’s runtime of two hours, Mosley said it brought in many people from kids, to teenagers and older visitors of the coffee shop.

Mosley is a School Resource Officer (SRO) for Ethel Kight Elementary School. He said through the program he’s gotten the chance to interact with Ethel Kight students and their parents.

“We always talk about community policing and as our chief said, if you’re doing what you’re supposed to do, being of service to the people, then you don’t have to be community policing because the people will know you,” Mosley said. “I think that shows through with Coffee with the Cop because people already knew us when we started. It just gives us more of an environment to sit down and talk, answer any questions about crime, of course, answer questions about my family. They know I am a father, husband, son, and brother.”

Mosley said since starting the program there has been progress in connecting with the community.

“I think holistically as an agency we’ve been making strides toward really connecting with our community. Local Groundz was so open to hosting us. I think our communication and their knowing me around the community made it easier for that segue. I think that type of environment and openness lets the community know we’re there for them and visible,” Mosley said. “We have gotten a lot of positive feedback from both participants in the program and Local Groundz. With the success of doing this through the summer, I hope we can continue it.”

He said the biggest impact of the program has been showing the community they are real people.

“We’re just like anybody else in the community. I think kids and older people that grew up in the community seeing our efforts shows them we’re being intentional with trying to be impactful and being there for them,” Mosley said. “Of course, you’re going to stop crimes and answer calls for service, but we’ve got to do everything holistically as an agency to consistently show the people that we care. I hope to continue breaking down barriers with programs like this and letting people know that we’re part of the community, and we’re here to serve.”

As the new school year begins, Mosley said the program will take a brief hiatus until Christmas break.