The Best Start Wilmington Partnership invited the city’s law enforcement to take part in a discussion about the safety and unity of the surrounding neighborhoods. The event, dubbed “Coffee with a Cop,” saw a turnout of 65 plus community members and organizations including five members of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) Harbor Division .
Over coffee at the St. Peter and Paul Church in Wilmington, the officers sat down with small groups of community members to hear their thoughts and suggestions for strengthening their relationship and making Wilmington a safe and united community. The officers followed up with a presentation about the LAPD Cadet and Youth Programs available to Wilmington community members.
The idea of “Coffee with a Cop” came about during a time when Wilmington community members were discussing priorities in their community. One of those priorities, a Safe and United Wilmington, was to address challenges like multiple crimes that took place in the span of a few months. Community members were interested in strengthening their relationship with the LAPD Harbor Division because of the safety issues they had been experiencing in Wilmington. They also wanted to meet and get to know the new Police Captain Nancy Lauer who serves with the LAPD Harbor Division that specifically serves the Wilmington community.
Captain Nancy Lauer opened the dialogue with a call for a strong partnership between LAPD and Wilmington community members. “Our goal is to reduce crime, but we can’t do it alone,” said Lauer. “We’re here, we want to be friends, and we want to make Wilmington a safe place for everyone.”
Lupe Lopez, a long-time member of the Best Start Wilmington Partnership, appreciated the open dialogue. “Best Start created the welcoming environment to make these introductions and forge these connections,” said Lopez, adding that the community members in the Partnership are very highly engaged in the collaboration and planning of the agenda for the monthly meetings.
“Coffee with a Cop” was just the latest in a series of such activities. The Partnership recognized that healthy parents raise healthy children and therefore focusing on themselves and their own strengths will set a strong foundation to help provide the best start for children in the Wilmington community.