Chief's Corner

John R. Phoennik
Chief of Police

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Oct 06

Come be heard at “Coffee with the Chief”

Posted on October 6, 2015 at 12:28 PM by Andrea Iglar

As some of you know, the South Fayette Township Police Department has recently launched a new program called “Coffee with the Chief.” This initiative was started for the benefit of both the community and the police. The purpose is to give residents the opportunity to share any concerns, criticisms, or suggestions with the Chief of Police, who in turn can implement changes if necessary and direct the department in better serving the public. This process can help improve trust and build better relationships. Police often fight not just crime, but also some people’s view that law enforcement is a necessary financial evil. This new effort is an opportunity to help change this perception.

“Coffee with Cops” began in Hawthorne, California, in 2011 as the result of a brainstorming session. Officers of the Hawthorne Police Department were looking for different ways to interact more successfully with the citizens they served each day. What the South Fayette Township Police Department has done is take this concept and have the Police Chief meet with residents.

Community policing has long been considered a framework for establishing trust between residents and police. Having coffee in a more informal setting should ease any anxiety that folks could have. It also gives our taxpayers more of a voice to be heard about a variety of concerns. I’m trying through this program to establish face-to-face relationships and create bonds that in turn will make our community stronger. After all, we all have a vested interest in the safety of South Fayette Township. Our department will always strive to find ways to better serve our residents.

“Coffee with the Chief” is held every other month at various locations in the township, with the schedule announced on the township website:

Upcoming “Coffee with the Chief” Events:
  • Thursday, October 8, 7 p.m., Sturgeon Volunteer Fire Department hall
  • Tuesday, December 8, 7 p.m., Hunting Ridge Meeting House
—Police Chief John R. Phoennik


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