P.A.R.C. Mag Issue #8 - Page 53

P.A.R.C. Mag: You serve as a National Program Instructor for Coffee With A Cop. What does the program consist of? What type of training is offered to the officers who participate in the program?

Sgt. Cognac: "You don't have to have the class, the class itself is about how something could go wrong and how to handle people better. It's more procedural justice, communication, cultural issues, organizational transformation, community policing theory and what police departments across the world have done wrong. It focuses on how to avoid those things. The biggest thing is you have to go to the people the people don't go to you. We have rules, these rules are based on the rules on things that we've done wrong within the police force."

P.A.R.C. Mag: Since the launch of the program in 2011, what strides have you made within the communities that you have served? Also, what positive things have happened since you provided training to police officers?

Sgt. Cognac: "The enhancement of trust has been huge and the ability for police to be humanized and then also for the public to be humanized is what it's all about. It removes the barriers of the police officer and fears of the police car and things like that. It has really helped to kick start community policing in America and around the world. It's huge in Australia and Canada. Where there was a lot of standoffishness, Coffee With A Cop would come in and enable those first steps to be taken and police can act accordingly in public. To really build proximal relationships, relationships that are beneficial to the community and it has really helped do a lot of great things."

P.A.R.C. Mag: The Coffee With A Cop program was funded until 2014 funded by a division of The Department of Justice and is in 50 states nationwide. Since there is no more funding through DOJ how do you receive other funding or donations? If so, how can one reach out and assist your cause?

Sgt. Cognac: "We are self-funding and we also accept donations. We don't charge anyone for the training. Some people may pay us to come out and do the training. My Police Department pays for upgrading the website, maintenance and other things. I spend my time doing Coffee With A Cop about two-thirds of my day. We are looking for alternative funding to help us to maintain. That will hopefully be forthcoming or we need to establish a private partnership to allow us to maintain for five more years."