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National Coffee with a Cop Day hits the Chicagoland area Wednesday

Several suburban departments set to participate in community meet-up over coffee.

By Dan Campana

With a goal of breaking down barriers between police officers and citizens, National Coffee with a Cop Day arrives Wednesday in several suburban Chicago communities and beyond.

From McDonald’s and Starbucks to local cafes and even some headquarters, police officials – chiefs, command staff and officers – will meet up with residents for a cup of joe in Antioch, Darien, Glenview, Gurnee, Hinsdale, Joliet, Lake Forest, Lisle, Naperville, Park Ridge, Olympia Fields, Rockford, Rolling Meadows, Round Lake, Sauk Village, Steger, Sycamore, Villa Park, West Chicago and Woodridge.

Naperville Police Chief Robert Marshall is incorporating the national event into his “Chat with the Chief” series he hosts several times throughout the year.

“National Coffee With A Cop Day is all about bringing police and citizens together to discuss community issues and build relationships, so it made sense to hold our next ‘Chat with the Chief’ on that day,” Marshall said, noting McDonald’s is providing free coffee during the two-hour informal meeting. “We thank McDonald’s for hosting us and look forward to meeting with community members to discuss whatever is on their minds.”

The idea for what turned into a nationwide event started in Hawthorne, Calif., in 2011 where the police department wanted a way to better understand the needs and concerns of the community.

“It has been spreading like wildfire ever since the first cup was poured and today more than 2,000 law enforcement agencies throughout the United States participate in this movement,” the official event site stated.

Nearly 700 coffee klatches are scheduled across North America and even Australia for the second annual get-together on Wednesday and over the next couple of days.