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WMPD adds new event to outreach efforts

  • Let's chat.
    Let's chat.  William & Mary Police Chief Deb Cheesebro and department to host new campus-outreach event Dec. 6 at the Daily Grind.  Photo by Stephen Salpukas
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The William & Mary Police Department is sponsoring a new outreach event this semester – Coffee with the Chief. William & Mary Police Chief Deb Cheesebro and other members of the department will be at the Daily Grind on campus Dec. 6 from 8 to 11:30 a.m. to chat and provide all visitors to the Grind during that time with a free cup of regular coffee.

“We work hard every day to maintain proper balance of education, enforcement, problem-solving and service to the community in our work,” said William & Mary Police Chief Deb Cheesebro. “Reaching out to the community with events like this gives us the opportunity to get feedback on those efforts, listen to people’s concerns and answer questions.”

Cheesebro noted that she and her officers are open to a wide range of topics for Wednesday’s event. Though she suggested subjects including security over the break, the mass notification system and general police services, she said discussion topics would be up to the participants.

“We want this to be an open dialogue,” she said. “This will be an opportunity for the community to address any concerns or ideas they have related to our department and this campus.”

The event is part of the department’s ongoing outreach effort that typically includes one to two programs each semester.

“We can’t be effective in isolation,” Cheesebro said. “It’s important for me and for the officers in the department to be recognizable faces in this community, to build trust and establish ongoing relationships across campus.”

In the past, the department’s events have included hosting Sadler Center student outreach days, serving as Bingo callers at community events, hosting a cookout for students on the last day of classes, co-sponsoring presentations with student groups, providing alcohol awareness programs, hosting food and staffing information tables for resource events, providing safety and security presentations and providing support for safety escorts.                      

Wednesday’s event at the Daily Grind was inspired by the national “Coffee with a Cop” initiative held across the country earlier in the fall. Cheesebro added she hopes the William & Mary version will be as successful and join the ranks of the university’s many traditions.

“Our campus community is a vital partner in keeping our campus safe,” Cheesebro said. “Every opportunity to talk with members of the community provides us with additional insight that we use to enhance our police and public safety services.”