GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - More than 40 police officers from across Wisconsin received training to host "Coffee with a Cop" events.
The community building meeting is the brainchild of Hawthorne, California Police Sgt. Chris Cognac.
"We don't get the opportunity to see each other as just regular people who have the same interests in making the community better," says Cognac. "This program creates a casual atmosphere, and one-on-one interaction with your local police."
"Coffee with a Cop" is currently in over 175 cities and towns in 36 states.
"It's growing, it's been a huge success," says Cognac. "What's it really been helping is it's helped build bonds. You get to see your local police officer as your neighbor, who he really is, and as a person who really cares about your community."
The training, which took place Monday at the Green Bay Police Department, involves helping officers understand how to relate to people from all different backgrounds.
"How to assert themselves in a casual conversation, instead of 'license and registration', it's "can I get you a cup of coffee?'," Cognac says, adding the coffee is a conduit to starting that bond. "The officers are like junior high dance, on the wall, and we'll say 'hey go pour some coffee', and it acts like an ice-breaker."
If you'd like to take part in Green Bay's first "Coffee with a Cop" event, it's open to the public on Tuesday from 8 a.m. until 10 a.m. at Kavarna Coffeehouse, 143 North Broadway.