Building trust, one cup of coffee at a time

On Aug. 16, PNW students, faculty and the Hammond community came together to build a better relationship with each other as well as drink a cup of coffee and eat doughnuts.

The focus of the event was for PNW’s police officers to gain trust from and build relationships with the students and community.

Patricia Nowak, PNW chief police officer, said they want to break down barriers the media is perpetuating.

“We want the community and students to know that we listen to them and they can always call us with problems,” Nowak said. “We want to show everyone we are here to help them.”

Coffee with a Cop, one of the most successful community oriented police programs, originated in Hawthorne, California in 2011, according to Nowak.  Nowak shared that the Hawthorne police had the same desire as the PNW police department: form trust and communicate with the community. All 50 states have hosted Coffee with a Cop events.  

Coffee with a Cop was a learning experience for police officers and students. At the event, information on campus safety classes was provided.

Lt. Terry Gose, Lowell District police officer, said this was a great opportunity for the community to come speak with them.

“There could be things that you have concerns about that we do not know about or vice versa,” Nowak said.

Diamond Kincy, hospitality, tourism, and management sophomore major, believes now is the time to get to know police officers.

“You never know when you’ll need them on campus, and it would be good to know it’s a friendly face,” Kincy said.