In a bid to foster stronger ties between law enforcement and the local community, ‘Coffee with a Cop’ program has been running successfully for a year.

The ‘Coffee with a Cop’ is a program that has been running for a year now, which aims to give an opportunity once a month for Merrittonians around the city to enjoy a cup of coffee with police officers and share their concerns or talk about their daily lives.

“(It) puts more of a human connection on the uniform, right?” Marlene Jones, coordinator of Merritt’s Community Policing Office, said. “Because sometimes people only see police officers during a stressful time in their life.”

Jones said that the successful program helps Merrittonians connect to local police officers on a personal level and remember that even out of the uniform, they are still ordinary residents.

“That police officer that you see out during the day, they’re a member of our community, you know, they’re shopping in the stores we shop, their kids are going to the same schools that our kids are going to,” she said.

She added that there are a few local residents that are always present in the quick gathering.

As for changes to the program,  Jones added that the CPO is looking into personalizing the uniform for staff members that participate in the ‘Coffee with a Cop’ event, and said they are open to suggestions from the community.

“Certainly we are open to suggestions. We would like to keep this even more during the day, (sort of) a quick coffee and a connect versus some of those longer and maybe more evening events that we do.”

The ‘Coffee with a Cop’ upcoming meeting is on Feb. 14 at McDonald’s located at 3360 River Ranch Rd.