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Monthly ‘Coffee with a Cop’ program beginning June 20

Increasing community engagement one of Westlock RCMP’s three policing priorities for 2024-2025
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WESTLOCK — The Westlock RCMP, in partnership with the Town of Westlock, is launching a new monthly outreach program wherein residents can come have coffee with a detachment officer and a local elected official and bring up any concerns they have about law enforcement or other issues.

The first-ever “Coffee with a Cop” event will be held at the Westlock Library from 10-11 a.m. on Thursday, June 20.

It will continue to be held on the third Thursday of each month at the same time and place, with the caveat that officers may be called out to deal with an emergency.

As noted in a release, the RCMP is dedicated to maintaining open lines of communication with the communities they serve and would like to get to know area residents better.

The "Coffee with a Cop” sessions will be a platform to express ideas about law enforcement and also familiarize residents with local police officers and elected officials.

In a presentation to Village of Clyde councillors on June 10, Staff Sgt. Jeff Sehn said community engagement is one of their three policing priorities for 2024-2025.

“In that, we have five different initiatives that we’re moving forward with this year,” he said.

The first initiative is sending out weekly RAVE alerts to Citizens on Patrol groups to let them know what’s going on over the past week and “where to target their patrols to best help us,” Sehn said, adding, “That’s gone over really well with those groups.”

The second and third initiatives are to increase the number of media releases and to start conducting town hall meetings.

The fourth initiative, which Sehn noted he has "a lot of hope for,” is to start holding youth and senior engagement presentations.

“We’re going to go to senior homes and talk to them about fraud. We’re going to go to the youth centre and talk to youth about online bullying,” he said.

Finally, the fifth initiative is the monthly Coffee with a Cop sessions, the details of which were finalized about two weeks ago.

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