GARY | Officers from the Indiana University Police Department-Northwest invite IU Northwest students, faculty and staff, as well as members of the community, to come together on Oct. 1 to discuss community issues and build relationships.
The inaugural IU Northwest Coffee with a Cop will take place from 8 until 10 a.m. in the RedHawk Cafeteria, located in the Moraine Student Center. The local event is one of several taking place nationwide as part of a U.S. Department of Justice initiative.
The morning’s meet-and-greet will be an informal conversation providing campus and community members the opportunity to ask questions and learn more about the department’s work, both on the IU Northwest campus, as well as in the community, most specifically in Gary, Ind.
“We hope that the campus and community will feel comfortable to ask questions, bring concerns, or simply get to know our officers,” said IUPD-NW Chief of Police Patricia Nowak. “It is important that the campus, and community, have an awareness of what we do, and how we serve. Building relationships builds trust.”
Most often, the interaction that law enforcement officers traditionally have with the public occurs during emergencies, or emotional situations, which are not the most effective times for relationship building, Nowak explained.
A commitment to community engagement efforts, such as Coffee with a Cop, has become more greatly embedded into the mission of IUPD-NW since Chief Nowak joined the squad in July 2012.
Similar community-based efforts include the Citizens’ Police Academy, the Youth Citizens’ Police Academy, and the annual Shop with a Cop program, among others.
IUPD-NW is also actively involved in community-wide policing efforts by assisting in the crime analysis conducted by Joe Ferrandino, Ph.D., associate professor of criminal justice in the IU Northwest School of Public and Environmental Affairs.
The Region STOP team, a regional team of officers who work collectively to attack criminal violence and property crimes, also has the cooperation of IUPD-NW.
“The concept of community policing efforts is to build trust with our constituents,” Nowak said. “The IUPD-NW sees great value in getting to know, and serving the needs of not only the IU Northwest campus, but also the citizens of Northwest Indiana.”
Thanks to Comfort’s Catering and Darlene Adams for donating the coffee and facilities for Coffee with a Cop.
For more information, please contact the IU Police Department-Northwest at (219) 980-6501.