Coffee with Cops takes over Marketplace Cafe


Unique Danovaro got the chance to ask Sergeant Jason Plainer questions at Coffee with Cops. Photo credit: Josh Cozine

Coffee and conversation filled the Marketplace Cafe when three campus police officers visited Monday.

The event, Coffee with Cops, started at 10 a.m., with a repeat at the Sutter Dining hall at 6:30 p.m. It was at the request of the A.S, arranged by Nadine Salas, A.S. Commissioner of Community Affairs.

It allowed students and officers to meet in a relaxed setting to facilitate open conversation. Pharrell’s “Happy” played over the speakers and refreshments were provided.

“Most students only engage with officers during negative interactions,” Salas said. She hoped to facilitate more positive engagement between Campus Police and students at the neutral location.

Officer Lance Conlan sat with students Xorge Lopez and Dan DeGraf and discussed at length topics including sexual assault cases, the growing homeless population, and how police respond to people with mental conditions.

Conlan said that, “In my opinion even one case of rape or sexual assault is one too many,” but he also said that when you crunch the numbers it affects a “very small” amount of the student population.

He said he’s seen homeless and mental health issue calls both increase in recent years. While the issue is not something the police can fix, he said, they are training officers to recognize symptoms of those on the autism spectrum, and to understand why they may not understand commands.

Hardy and Plainer
Unique Danovaro and Denis Hardy talk with Sergeant Jason Plainer. Photo credit: Josh Cozine

One student, Denis Hardy, said she thought the experience was a great opportunity.

“Everyone is concerned about safety right now,” she said. “It’s nice to meet the UPD officers who are here to protect us.”

Another session, Hot Coco with Cops, is planned for Thursday, 10 a.m. at the Marketplace Cafe and 6:30 p.m. at the Sutter Dining Hall.

Josh Cozine can be reached at [email protected] or @joshcozine on Twitter.