UCPD chief sits down for coffee with the community

UC Berkeley’s police chief, Margo Bennett, and Berkeley Police Chief Andy Greenwood shared a morning cup of joe with local residents who turned out at the original Peet’s Coffee on Vine Street Wednesday morning as part of National Coffee with a Cop Day.

The two-hour event is designed to show the faces behind the badges and give individuals a chance to talk about community safety and policing with their leaders in blue, while promoting community engagement and building trust between police agencies and the communities they serve.

“It was a great opportunity to meet members of the community and talk about our shared campus-city policing concerns over coffee,” said Bennett.

UC Police Chief Margo Bennett engaged in conversation with community members on Wednesday as part of National Coffee with a Cop Day. (UC Berkeley Public Affairs photo by Hulda Nelson.)

Close to 50 people came out on a crisp fall morning to chat about crime trends and recent protests with the two chiefs and a couple of dozen other members of the city and campus police departments.

“Everyone I spoke with had some connection to Cal, and they were very pleased and supportive of our joint efforts over the past few weeks,” Bennett said. “Many expressed concern over the cost of such effort, but all were highly complimentary of how our officers managed such a controversial time.”

She said she hopes to have UCPD team up with BPD for more such gatherings in the future, with some taking place on campus so more students, staff and faculty can attend.

In October 2016, National Coffee with a Cop Day was established,  to be held on the first Wednesday in October. More than 2,000 law enforcement agencies throughout the country were expected to participate in the second annual event today.

“It was a great opportunity to stand beside the Berkeley (city) police leadership and talk about shared concerns and hopes for our community. We hope to participate in more events like this in the future.” Bennett said.