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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Several ‘Coffee with a Cop’ events were held throughout South Florida Wednesday morning.

Wednesday is ‘National Coffee with a Cop Day.’ The yearly event aims to improve relations between the police and the community.

“There’s no boundaries in terms of what you can talk about so you can do that and for people who enjoy having a cup of java it’s an opportunity to have a free cup of java,” said Lonnie Lawrence, Chair of citizen advisory committee.

In a setting where guns are down and ears are open, concerned citizens ask the tough questions.

“Do we have adequate police force?”

And police are taking the time to give the answers:

“We just hired nine certified officers, we have three cadets that are currently in the academy that are getting ready to graduate this coming Monday. So, I look forward to that graduation and we have more. But, I’ve just put in their applications they were going to the files right now their background checks, so they’re going to soon have them on the force with us. Also, so we’re constantly hiring,” said Delma K. Noel-Pratt, Chief Miami Gardens Police.

The Miami Beach Police Department’s event was sponsored by the Starbucks on the 1200 block of Washington Avenue. The event was held from 9 to 11 a.m.

Miami police held one event from 9 to 11 a.m. at the EinsteinBros in the 100 block of Northwest 6 Street in downtown Miami.

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They also hosted another event in Little Haiti at C Bon, in the 5700 block of Northwest 2 Avenue.

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The Miami-Dade Police Department held three events, prompting the community to “Come and meet the community resources unit #MDPD for ‘Coffee with a Cop.’ You’re invited to join your friendly neighborhood police officer for a free cup of coffee and pleasant conversation.”

Their events were held from 9 to 11 a.m. at these locations:

The McDonalds in the 30300 block of South Federal Highway.

The Falls at Pasión del Cielo.

The Starbucks in the 13600 block of North Kendall Drive.

The website coffeewithacop.com says the goal is to bring officers and the members of the community together–over coffee–to discuss issues and learn more about each other.

The invitations are generally posted on neighborhood websites such as nextdoor.com or on Twitter.

They tend to be straight and to the point. Here is one from last year:

“Come have a coffee with a Cop, sit down and meet some of your Cutler Bay officers!”

The goal is to break down barriers between police officers and the citizens they serve.

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