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The Student News Site of Oregon State University

The Daily Barometer

The Student News Site of Oregon State University

The Daily Barometer

Coffee with a Cop returns to Corvallis for first time since pandemic

H Beck

After a long break from hosting the Coffee With A Cop program due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Corvallis Police Department returned to New Morning Bakery on Thursday morning. 

This event was hosted by the Corvallis police with invitees including officers, Chief Jason Harvey, dispatch supervisors, investigation officers as well as mental and behavioral health professionals.

According to the program’s website, Coffee With A Cop is a non-profit organization launched in Hawthorne, California in 2011. The original goal of the Hawthorne Police Department was to interact better with the community that it serves. 

Police Captain Ryan Eaton said Corvallis police had hosted five or six different coffee gatherings with police officers before the pandemic, but put them off once the pandemic started. 

Now, after a pause from public interaction, Eaton said it is time to restart work in the community. 

He said the purpose of Thursday’s event was to give the community a space to meet and talk with their police officers and the department as a whole in a low-stress environment. 

Many times when the community interacts with them, it is in a high-stress or even traumatic situation. The coffee gatherings allow for a good dialogue with their community that may not happen in a day-to-day work environment. It also allowed community members to ask questions and voice concerns to the police. 

Chief Harvey said he had a conversation with a community member who wanted to know more about what is happening in the community and what he, as a police chief, sees every day. He said this interaction was one of the many reasons that they enjoy hosting the event. 

Dayna Svendsen, a social worker who was invited to speak as a behavioral health professional, said her invitation was a very exciting opportunity to interact with her community and learn more about them. Her job, she said, consists of following up on mental health-related calls and ensures they are addressed properly.

Dispatch Supervisor Heidi Ferguson, a first-time invitee at this event, said she was very excited at the opportunity to get a chance to get out and interact with her community on Thursday morning. 

Chief Harvey said the City plans to keep holding Coffee With A Cop events to continue to best serve the community that they work in. 

“As long as people keep attending, we will be here to talk,” he said. 

For more information on Coffee With A Cop, visit the program’s website.

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