Thursday Oct 03, 2013
Approximately 60 members of the Indiana University Northwest campus and surrounding communities took advantage of the “Coffee with a Cop” event at the campus cafeteria in early October.
Chief Patricia Nowak of the Indiana University Police Department-Northwest (IUPD-NW) said she was thrilled with the turnout for the inaugural meet-and-greet, in which officers engaged in informal conversation, providing campus and community members the opportunity to ask questions and learn more about the department’s work, both on the IU Northwest campus, as well as in the community, most specifically in Gary, Ind.
Those who attended said they appreciated the opportunity to interact with the officers. The conversations touched on such topics as careers in law enforcement, the desire for more citizens’ and kids’ police academies, and the IUPD-NW’s involvement in patrolling the University Park area immediately surrounding campus.
Overall, Nowak said the folks she chatted with expressed satisfaction with their safety and security on campus, appreciate the department’s presence immediately surrounding the campus and feel the officers are friendly and approachable.
“It is important that the campus, and community, have an awareness of what we do, and how we serve,” Nowak said. “Building relationships builds trust.”
A commitment to community engagement efforts, such as Coffee with a Cop, have become more greatly embedded into the mission of IUPD-NW since Chief Nowak joined the squad in July 2012.
Similar community-based efforts include the Citizens’ Police Academy, the Youth Citizens’ Police Academy, and the annual Shop with a Cop program, among others.
“The concept of community policing efforts is to build trust with our constituents,” Nowak said. “The IUPD-NW sees great value in getting to know, and serving the needs of not only the IU Northwest campus, but also the citizens of Northwest Indiana.”
The meet-and-greet was one of several such gatherings that are taking place nationwide as part of a U.S. Department of Justice initiative. Because of the high turnout and valuable information gleaned from the event, Chief Nowak anticipates hosting more meet-and-greet events in the future.
About Coffee with a Cop
Coffee with a Cop is a national initiative supported by The United States Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services. The program aims to advance the practice of community policing through improving relationships between police officers and community members one cup of coffee at a time.
About Indiana University Northwest – What Matters. Where it Matters.
As one of seven Indiana University campuses, IU Northwest leads the region as the premier, urban campus dedicated to serving the needs of more than 6,000 students from the state’s most diverse and industrialized region. Committed to helping its local Northwest Indiana communities thrive, IU Northwest is best-known for providing a personal, quality and affordable education close to home. IU Northwest positions its students to be leaders with more than 70 undergraduate, graduate and pre-professional degree options available from the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Health and Human Services, the School of Business and Economics, and the School of Education. The campus is also host to IU School of Medicine-Northwest, which actively involves students in research and local healthcare needs through its four-year medical doctorate program. For more information, please visit www.iun.edu.