Metro uses coffee ‘to build bridges’ with community

SANDFLY, Ga – On Saturday morning, dozens of people chose to start their day at the McDonald’s on Montgomery Cross in Sandfly. What they might not have expected is that their daily caffeine routine came from an unlikely host.

Members of the Savannah Metro Police Department’s Island Precinct met customers under the Golden Arches to offer them a free cup of coffee and an invitation for conversation.

“Events like this give us a really cool chance for us to interact with the community in a non-emergency way,” Advanced Police Officer Hillary Nielsen said.

The event also gave a change for goods to be collected for America’s Second Harvest and Senior Citizen’s Inc.

All morning long people stopped and sat down with officers to talk about their neighborhoods.

“I’m learning that when we give each other the chance to just open up and connect in environments like this, we can actually build bridges and better our community that way,” Nielsen said.

No matter the coffee order, she saw it as a way to connect on common ground.

“It helps us to break down those barriers of anti-anything  because we’re all just here sharing a cup of coffee,” Nielsen said.

The McDonald’s on Montgomery Cross says it will host another ‘Coffee with a Cop’ event in the spring.

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