California State University, Long Beach
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Have Coffee With A Cop

Published: October 3, 2016

As part of October’s Health and Safety Week at the university, and to promote its community outreach efforts on campus, University Police (UP) at CSULB will hold three events as part of its Community Policing Month. The events will provide students, faculty and staff the opportunity to meet officers from the department and discuss issues of concern, or to just say, “Hi.”

On Friday, Oct. 7, from 9-10 a.m., University Police will be hosting “Coffee with a Cop” outside of the Coffee Bean located in the University Student Union. The event is part of the first national “Coffee with a Cop” day, a program started by the Hawthorne Police Department in 2011.

On Wednesday, Oct. 19, from 9-10 a.m., UP will hold a similar event at the Beach Circle, located just east of the College of Business Administration building. Free coffee will be provided at both events for those who wish to stop by.

Also at the Beach Circle on Oct. 19, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., UP will make its Mobile Command Center available for individuals to tour and will serve pizza and beverages, again, in an effort to create a dialogue with campus members.

“People don’t normally get the chance to talk to a police officer. The thought is that this is an outreach for our community,” said Lt. Richard Goodwin of CSULB’s University Police. “We want to talk to people about the overall temperature of our department with the campus community and answer any questions they may have about the department or address any of their concern. This is an opportunity to sit with an officer and really talk with them.”

Scheduled to be at the events along with Goodwin are University Police Chief Fernando Solorzano, as well as other officers from the department’s 25-member force.

Policing on a university is different than doing so in larger cities like Los Angeles or Long Beach, according to Goodwin, but there are numerous similarities.

“Those officers are dealing with a myriad of things that we don’t often deal with,” he said. “We do, but on a smaller scale. It’s a different environment here and our officers are trained to deal with this type of environment. We’re specialized in what we do here.”

The purpose of these community policing events is essentially to put a face with the department and to inform individuals what it is the University Police Department does, noted Goodwin.

Lt. Rick Goodwin at a previous Coffee with a Cop event on campus.
Lt. Rick Goodwin at a previous Coffee with a Cop event on campus.

“We want to engage them in conversations about what we’re doing, what’s going on in the world today and get their feedback as well,” he said. “We have officers here that go above and beyond and have dialogue with students on a regular basis. That’s what it’s all about. It’s not about driving around in a car all day. It’s about getting out of the car and talking with the community and letting people see us up close. These events are really an effort to create a sense of familiarity.

“Community policing is something we here at Cal State Long Beach have done for a very long time because of the nature of our environment, being on a campus,” Goodwin added. “The real definition of community policing is working with the public to develop a relationship where you can call upon each other to deal with an issue, hopefully to take away the fear of contacting the police. Call us if you see something suspicious, call us if there is an issue with something. We’re never going to come out and say, ‘Why did you bother us with this?’ No officer will ever say that. We’re here to protect and serve. We’re here for the campus.”