Inspector Ghalib Bhayani

Have coffee with a cop in Surrey

RCMP starts new outreach campaign in several neighbourhoods in July.

The Surrey RCMP is hoping to build community relationships over a casual cup of coffee this month.

The pilot program will begin with three sessions at coffee shops in three different areas of the city in July.

Community Services Officer Insp. Ghalib Bhayani, along with the local district commander for the area, will meet residents and business owners for a free hour of conversation and coffee.

“Given the nature of our work, the majority of our contacts with the public are emergencies or very emotional situations,” said Bhayani. “These situations are not always ideal for relationship building, so our ‘Coffee with a Cop’ initiative aims to provide a much more relaxed interaction with community members. This is a great opportunity to ask questions, voice concerns and get to know the officers in your neighbourhood.”

The first session is in Newton at Espresso Cafe (#1112 – 7330 137 St.) on July 10. Cloverdale is next on July 24 at Rustic Rooster (#5 – 5723 176 St.), with South Surrey on July 31 at Moka House (#40 – 16041 24 Ave.) All coffee talks are from 9-10 a.m.

The initiative is modelled after similar ones that have taken place across North America – a concept launched in Hawthorne, California in 2011. Coffee with a Cop has now been hosted in more than 2,000 communities in 48 U.S. states.