Coffee With a Cop comes to Coatesville

Chief, officers share java & conversation with local residents

By Lauren Parker- Gill, News Editor, The Times


Coatesville resident Casey Hart (right) visited Fuel City Cafe with her daughter, Fiona (4) for Coffee with the Chief to speak with Chief Laufer regarding some minor issues in her neighborhood.

COATESVILLE – The City’s Police Department kicked off the first “Coffee with the Chief” Wednesday morning at Coatesville’s newest business, Fuel City Café.

Coffee with a Cop originally began in Hawthorne, California in 2011 as a way for police officers to build relationships with community members in a casual, laid back setting.

Since its inception, Coffee with a Cop now takes place in over 2,500 communities nationwide and has also gone international with Canada, Great Britain, Northern Ireland, Australia and Nigeria now participating.

The Hawthorne Police Department initially partnered with the University of Illinois and together presented the program to the Department of Justice (DOJ). The DOJ then funded the program for the first few years, enabling the Hawthorne Police Department to teach classes, design the logo and build the Coffee with a Cop website.

“It’s the most successful community related program the Department of Justice has funded,” said Detective John Dixon of the Hawthorne Police Department, in a phone call Wednesday. “This is a program that reminds cops why they became a cop.”

Police Chief Jack Laufer said the Coatesville Police Department had been hoping to start this program in Coatesville for some time – they were just waiting for the perfect location – now they have it.


Sergeant Rodger Ollis greeted Javier Cruz (7), who came in with his mom Venessa Burgos, and his little brothers and sister, to say hello to the officers at Fuel City Cafe.

When Fuel City Café opened last month, Sergeant Rodger Ollis and Lieutenant James Audette approached the owners of the coffee shop, David Long and Nicole Catanese about hosting Coffee with the Chief each month.

“I thought it was a great idea!” Catanese said. “Sometimes people are afraid to express their concerns to the police but now they are able to do it in a great atmosphere, over coffee and pastries.”

Laufer, Ollis and Audette were all on hand yesterday to greet the customers as they came into the cafe. Among them were Casey Hart and her four-year-old daughter, Fiona of Coatesville.


Coatesville Police Chief Jack Laufer and Sergeant Rodger Ollis were at Fuel City Cafe Wednesday morning for the first “Coffee with the Chief” to visit and speak with residents of Coatesville.

Hart came in to speak with Chief Laufer and ask him for advice regarding some nuisance issues in her neighborhood, such as children throwing rocks.

Laufer said he would relay the information to officers and remind them to continue patrolling the area during their shifts. By maintaining a visible presence, officers will intervene and speak with any children who are seen participating in the behavior Hart mentioned.

Coatesville resident Venessa Burgos also stopped in with her four children, Javier, Nevaeh, Travis and Dominic. After being introduced to the officers, her children enjoyed visiting with Ollis and Laufer

“This was fun!” Audette said, after Coffee with the Chief had finished at 10 a.m.

Laufer says the morning was a successful start and hopes it will continue to be a positive event in Coatesville.

Coffee with the Chief will take place the first Wednesday of each month at Fuel City Café from 8 a.m. – 10 a.m.

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