Franklin state, city police to have coffee with citizens

Franklin state police and Franklin city police are inviting members of the community to join them for coffee from 9 to 11 a.m. Wednesday at Bossa Nova in Franklin.

Coffee with a Cop is a California-based nonprofit with a mission to build trust between police and their communities.

“I wanted to bring it locally to give our community members a relaxed atmosphere to meet and talk to local law enforcement,” said state trooper Michelle McGee, a community service officer at the Franklin barracks. “I think it’s a great opportunity for the community to engage with their local police in a venue that is a positive environment.”

The event is the first of its kind in Venango County, and McGee said she hopes to see it become an annual event at a minimum.

“The significance of Oct. 3 is that it’s National Coffee with a Cop Day,” McGee said. “I thought it would be neat for Franklin to be a part of that.”

Coffee with A Cop was launched in 2011 when police officers in Hawthorne, California, were looking for ways to interact more successfully with the people they served. Since its inception, it has grown to an international level with police and citizens mingling over java in Canada, Europe, Australia, Africa, and Latin America

McGee decided to bring the idea to Franklin after a presentation at a community service officers conference.

“We are the liaison between our department and the community,” McGee said.

McGee added that the coffee shop owners were enthusiastic about providing the venue and that all area police officers and members of the public are invited.

“All of our local police departments were invited if they have an officer who is available to stop by,” McGee said. “It’s nothing formal. Just stop by, say hello and enjoy a coffee.”