When: Monday, Sept. 15 7-8:30am
Where: Dunkin Donuts
105 W. First Ave.
Who: Mayor Holley, police officers, Roselle residents
He’s going to hang out at the local donut shop, with some local police officers, just to make themselves available for a chat with residents, hear what’s on their minds or what’s troubling them, whatever comes up. This is being done together by the Mayor and the Roselle Police Benevolent Association, the PBA that represents the local cops.
Mayor Holley told me about his grandmother, a juvenile corrections officer for both county and state and past president of the National Black Police Association, and how as a kid he had early relationships and a personal connection to many police officers. He clearly wants to make that opportunity available to his residents. The Dunkin Donuts is just 4 blocks away from the High School, and with school starting at 8:15am, he hopes young people drift in to say hello. And the early morning timing works for most people’s work schedules, too – a drop in before the commute.
Holley’s got these scheduled for the 3rd Monday morning from Sept. 15th through the end of the year. And I get the sense he intends a nice casual atmosphere of hellos and chat, something easygoing to bridge any gaps between residents and officers. Find common ground, open up lines of communication. And there’s room for these Monday morning’s to grow, with ideas the community may bring through the door.
Mayor Holley posted his idea on Facebook last night; there are already a couple dozen shares. His post in its entirely, below the fold:
Roselle Mayor Jamel Holley (via Facebook):
There is a disconnect relative to how the use of excessive force by the police is properly implemented among people in communities. The reality of this disconnect disturbs me whenever I hear of a police officer shooting an individual, or an individual shooting at an officer. Recent incidents in Ferguson, Missouri and New York City have brought more attention to the depth of this epidemic and efforts must be made to address the core part of all this. The time for bridging the gap on how the police and the community engages with each other is long overdue!
While I understand the totality of why these types of events happen in communities, it is important for all of us to remain focused on identifying solutions rather than holding on to our respective opinions. Make no mistake — there are many great law enforcement officers, including my late grandmother. However, it is critically important that our community as a whole become unified through the development of positive relationships between community stakeholders and our law enforcement officials.
Here’s how we can begin — the Roselle Borough Council and I have teamed up with the Roselle Police Benevolent Association (PBA) to kick off our “Coffee with a Cop” initiative, which provides local residents an opportunity to meet local Police Officers in our downtown business district. Residents will have the opportunity to interact with me, our Council Members and Police Officers to learn more about Roselle’s community policing programs, including our Junior Police Academy which gives young teens a chance to encounter a hands-on experience of what it takes to become a police officer before graduating high school.
“Coffee With A Cop” will be held at the Dunkin Donuts located at 105 W. 1st Avenue (corner of Chestnut and 1st Ave) on Monday, September 15, 2014, from 7:00am-8:30am and every third (3rd) Monday of the Month– Mondays October 20, November 17 and December 15.
I understand this is a global issue but our efforts for implementing solutions must begin at home. This is where it starts. Join me! #community #roselle #cop