Hawaii residents got a chance to chat with officers from local police departments for the first-ever National Coffee with a Cop Day.
The Coffee with a Cop program began in 2011 in California as a way to improve relationships between police officers and the public.
Police departments in Honolulu and Maui County participated in Friday’s nationally coordinated event.
Officers were at McDonald’s on Kalakaua Avenue in Waikiki from 8:30-10:30 a.m. to talk story over cups of coffee.
“Most of the time, when public calls for the police, it’s a time of emergency or something dynamic is happening, and they don’t have a chance to just stop and ask the officer a basic question, or something they’ve been wanting to ask the officer or about the department,” explained Sgt. Henry Lee with the Waikiki District. “Now this is an opportunity to come out, sit down with an officer. There’s no time limit really to sit down and just ask what you want, or something you’re curious about, whether it be joining the police department, ride-alongs, or anything about police work overall.”
Officers also handed out educational pamphlets on topics like neighborhood watch programs, and how to report an emergency when calling 911.
The Honolulu Police Department held its first event in April, marking the program’s presence in all 50 states. Since then, Lee says community response has been incredibly positive.