Riverhead Town Police officers Eduardo Nava, left, and Branden Heller talked with Riverhead resident E. Diamond during one of the "Coffee with a Cop" events held by Riverhead Police on Oct. 4, 2017. File photo: Denise Civiletti

Riverhead police shared coffee and conversation with residents this morning at four popular breakfast stops across town.

Officers went to Duffy’s Deli in Jamesport, McDonald’s in Riverhead, Express Deli and Cafe on Osborn Avenue and Wading River Deli to chat with locals.

The morning meet-ups are intended to create a dialogue between officers and the community.

“Coffee with a Cop” is a national program first launched in Hawthorne, California in 2011, the result of a brainstorming session on ways to better connect with the community. The events have now been hosted in all 50 states and the program is considered one of the most successful community-oriented policing programs in the country.

Having a cup of coffee with citizens is “a simple plan to break through the barriers that have been built over the years, whether by shifting demographics or the shift to different and less personal modes of communication,” according to the program.

It opens the door for interactions outside of the crisis situations that typically bring law enforcement officers and community members together, organizers say.


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Denise is a veteran local reporter, editor, attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including investigative reporting and writer of the year awards from the N.Y. Press Association. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website.Email Denise.