'Coffee with a Cop program' seeks improved relationships

"Coffee with a Cop", a program that got its start in California six years ago, is a way for people to get to know their police department. (8/23/16)

YONKERS - At a time when police and community relationships are strained across the nation, Yonkers police are hoping that a cup of coffee or tea is the answer to improve relationships between their department and the communities they serve.

"Coffee with a Cop", a program that got its start in California six years ago, is a way for people to get to know their police department.

A group of officers met Tuesday at the Paxos Grill on Main Street in Yonkers.

The idea behind the program is that relationships take time to build, so speaking with a police officer over a cup of coffee may improve an encounter on the streets. "You need the cooperation of the public and the more cooperation the better relationship you have with the community the more effective we can be to help keep people safe," says Yonkers Police Commissioner Charles Gardner.

Officer Cherie Prashad says she shares many of the same concerns as the people she talks to. “I have a family. I have the same issues, the same things that go on in your life, go on in my life. I'm no different."

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