May 20th, 2024

Coffee with a Cop program a chance for citizens to engage with police

By Herald on October 13, 2021.

Herald photo by Al Beeber - Constable Jamie Kenyon, a Community Diversity Liaison with the Lethbridge Police Service, talks while meeting with seniors at the Nord-Bridge Seniors Centre Wednesday.

Al Beeber – Lethbridge Herald

For the seniors and the police officers, a Lethbridge Police Service program called Coffee with a Cop is a chance to engage each other about issues in the community that residents feel are important.

Community Diversity Liaison Constable Jamie Kenyon and his partner Constable Shawn Davis on Wednesday met with seniors in the Dunford Diner at Nord-Bridge Seniors Centre and listened to whoever wanted to talk about any subject they wanted to address.

The session was their second at Nord-Bridge this fall. Two more are scheduled for Nov. 10 and Dec. 8, both running from 10 until 11 a.m.

The officers didn’t get much feedback from the first session, said eight-year LPS member Kenyon and only time will tell if any themes emerge from their discussions at the seniors centre, which is located at 1904 13 Ave. N.

The engagement is a chance for Nord-Bridge members to share their concerns with the police. And during Wednesday’s session, some in the dining room took the opportunity to chat with the officers. That engagement was derailed for a substantial amount of time by COVID-19 restrictions.

“Recently, one of the coordinators here, Ashley (program co-ordinator Ashley Kern) got hold of us saying ‘hey you know, it’d be a good idea to maybe come back.’ It’s just about staying connected with our citizens and our veteran citizens here,” said Kenyon Wednesday.

“And really what it is is just a matter of us just having a low-key conversation,” he said, adding it’s “just to keep people informed and keep bridging and building relationships with the city police and the different communities within the city.

“Some of the concerns brought up to me is a general awareness of what’s happening. A lot of it focuses around the COVID rules and what-not. Some times it’s the articles in social media and media about some of the happenings going on so they’ll ask. I haven’t really found a theme,” Kenyon said.

The event will be happening monthly and if possible, every second week as well, he said.

Kenyon also works in partnership with the Lethbridge Seniors Centre Organization downtown but no formal program has yet been started there.

“I think the idea is I’m going to start coming more regularly again and then people will get more comfortable. We might develop a theme after that and see kind of what the main concerns of seniors are.”

A couple of years ago, he said, discussions were around issues such as the opioid situation in Lethbridge but now COVID is a dominant concern


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