Nanaimo RCMP are launching a home-brewed version of Coffee with a Cop, an outreach program being used by police across Canada and the U.S. to make personal connections with the public. CHRIS BUSH/The News Bulletin

Nanaimo RCMP are launching a home-brewed version of Coffee with a Cop, an outreach program being used by police across Canada and the U.S. to make personal connections with the public. CHRIS BUSH/The News Bulletin

Nanaimo RCMP invites public for Coffee with a Cop

Mounties prepared to hear praise and problems from residents over a cup of coffee

Nanaimo Mounties have percolated a plan to hear praise along with pet peeves from the public.

Coffee with a Cop, a community outreach program that’s new to Nanaimo and begins in June, has filtered its way into police departments across Canada and the U.S. as a way for police to step away from the daily grind of policing from patrol cars and get in touch with the people they serve in their communities in an informal setting.

Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman, suggests discussions over a fresh brew can be blend of a just about any topic.

“People can just talk and shoot the bull with no agenda and we can also get feedback from the public too, what’s working, what’s not,” said Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman.

Coffee with a Cop meetings will be hosted at various coffee shops throughout Nanaimo with the times and places advertised in advance in news media and social media.

Each get-together will have an RCMP member of a different rank, specialty or background to get different perspectives from the community.

“Coffee has traditionally been used as means to discuss issues that affect us. We also know many people have never had the opportunity sit down face to face with a police officer and ask questions and get to know them,” said Supt. Cameron Miller, Nanaimo RCMP detachment commanding officer, in a press release. “Additionally we would like to hear about what is happening in their neighbourhoods. We are always striving to build on our existing relationships with the public and this is just another way to accomplish that.”

O’Brien said consistency is important in community programs and Nanaimo RCMP hope to host Coffee with a Cop get-togethers every other week.

The first Coffee with a Cop happens at Save-On-Foods at Brooks Landing on June 13 at 10 a.m.