For the first time, the Regina Police Service and McDonald’s are teaming up to give the community a chance to experience Coffee with a Cop.
The Albert Street and Dewdney Avenue McDonald’s location played host to five officers Friday as part of the initiative.
Cpl. Sheri Wild said the idea has been in the works for about six months. The officers were at McDonald’s from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. to give people a chance to come to a neutral environment and have a conversation with an officer about whatever they want to talk about.
“We’re going to do one a month for the first three months, and then just go on community feedback to see where we’re going to go from there,” Wild said.
Dates have not been solidified yet for September and October, but once police and McDonald’s have selected a date, they will let the public know.
“We just want to have a positive experience with people. Sometimes, the only interaction people have with us is when they’re a victim of a crime and they’re upset — or, on the flip side, they’ve been arrested for a crime and they’re generally upset,” explained Wild.
Topics of conversation can range from crime, to a person’s neighbourhood, to even talking about retirement. Wild said a lot of jokes were told Friday, and there were lots of conversations about the city and area. She said people are often curious about crime trends and how to become a police officer.
“People like to see the good work going on in the community. A lot of people live in this community and they see the positive steps being taken by organizations, such as McDonald’s,” Wild said.
People were even waiting prior to 10 a.m. to talk with the officers. Five officers were on hand Friday, and each spoke with four or five people within the first hour.
“This is great,” Wild said. “It’s a good way to engage the community with no agenda, we’re not responding to a call, we’re not there to give education about something, it’s really an open book talking about whatever.”