Starbucks says it will host 100 “Coffee With a Cop” events within the year, deepening its commitment to the events designed to foster conversations between community members and police.
The Coffee With a Cop program was begun in 2011 by the police department in Hawthorne, Calif., with a mission of breaking down the barriers between police officers and the people they serve.
So far, Coffee With a Cop events have taken place at various coffee shops (not just Starbucks) in all 50 states, as well as in Canada, Europe, Australia and Africa, according to the program’s website.
Seattle-based Starbucks has hosted some of the events. And two years ago, Starbucks’ Chairman and CEO Howard Schultz participated in one with Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole.
On Friday, at a symposium in Seattle hosted by the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, also called NOBLE, Schultz spoke with O’Toole on the importance of improving trust between the police and communities, according to Starbucks. He also announced that the company will increase its commitment to the program by hosting 100 events in its U.S. stores, starting next month and running until National Coffee With a Cop Day on October 7.
Starbucks will partner with NOBLE, the International Association of Chiefs of Police and Major Cities Chiefs Association in the effort, with the first five events to be held in Seattle, Dallas, Indianapolis, New York, and Norfolk, Va.