The Peachtree City Police Department is inviting the community to come out and connect with their officers during a “Coffee With a Cop” event planned for Monday, March 23 from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Starbucks in the Peachtree East Shopping Center off Highway 54. Police officials say the event will allow them to further open their lines of communications with citizens.

“This is a great opportunity for us to foster new relationships with our citizens,” said Lt. Mark Brown, spokesman for the Peachtree City Police Department. “There is not a specific agenda. We just want to sit down and enjoy some conversation with members of our community.”

Brown said the city’s police officers are often so busy while out on patrol, they have little free time to just relax and connect with the citizens. The department is seeking to build on our established relationships with the community and open up more trust between officers and citizens.

Coffee With a Cop is part of a national program that has been used in 47 states. The program states that one of its key successes is that it removes the physical barriers and crisis situations that routinely define interactions between law enforcement officials and community members.

Brown said he was happy to bring the program to Peachtree City after receiving a request from McIntosh High School junior Sammie Christensen, who is helping organize the event. While on vacation in Florida, Christensen saw Coffee With a Cop being held at a local coffee shop. She thought it would be a great way for her peers to get to know the police officers in her hometown.

“I think we (teenagers) sometimes feel a division between ourselves and the police officers out on patrol,” said Christensen. “The truth is we just don’t have a great way to connect and this program is one that could help solve that problem.”

If the Coffee With a Cop program is successful, both Brown and Christensen say they hope to plan more in the future.