St. Louis police host "Coffee with a Cop" event Thursday -

St. Louis police host "Coffee with a Cop" event Thursday

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. ( -

The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department hosted its inaugural "Coffee with a Cop" event Thursday to improve face-to-face interactions with the community.

Nearly 100 officers served customers at three different fast food restaurants throughout the city and welcomed residents to join them in casual conversation.

Tommy Glenn said he visits the McDonald's on Natural Bridge regularly and was surprised to see such a large police presence at the restaurant Thursday morning.

"I come here every morning to get my coffee and my frappe to start my day, so when I saw the officers I was like, 'Oh is something happening?' But something good is happening today," said Glenn. 

Police Chief Sam Dotson said strong relationships are crucial to building better neighborhoods, and a conversation over coffee is a great start.

"If you know the names of the people who ride in your neighborhood, who work in your neighborhood, it's a lot easier to communicate," said Chief Dotson.

"Coffee with a Cop" is a nation-wide program created to help police departments strengthen relationships with the communities they serve. City police said they want to host similar events each month.

"With the help of the public and us working with police, we can have a great community. St. Louis can be number one again," said Glenn.

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