Honeylu’s Coffee buzzed with friendly banter on the morning of Wednesday, Oct. 4 as Prosper residents joined the Prosper Police Department for Coffee with a Cop, a national event driven to foster relationships between police and the communities they protect.

“These events are very important and very effective,” said Police Chief Doug Kowalski. “They give us an opportunity to meet the citizens and for them to meet us in a non stressful situation.”

Kowalski is a huge proponent of forging these relationships in the community — siting the Citizens Police Academy, National Night Out, The Community Safety Initiative and Police Memorial Week as other important opportunities for Prosper’s residents to get involved with their police force. As the city grows, these events become even more valuable to the residents of Prosper.

“As more people move here, I think that it’s important to create these forums and platforms for Prosper citizens to interact with local law enforcement to make sure all of their needs and concerns are being met,” said Joe Fuller, one of several parents who brought their children to Honeylu’s to meet their local police.

While Coffee with a Cop overlapped with school hours, many parents took the extra time in their morning to bring their kids by before school. The department handed out gift bags to each of them, with contents ranging from badge stickers to blinking safety lights designed to keep trick-or-treaters safe on Halloween.

“A great percentage, close to half our population, are in the schools,” Kowalski said. “We want to start those relationships early. We want children to know that police officers are their friends.”

It was these exact sentiments that brought Mark Rodgers and his wife and daughter to Coffee with a Cop. He says he loves the way these interactions help to maintain Prosper’s small town feel, but that it is also about much more than that.

“In this day and age, people are saying so many things about police that are not nice,” Rodgers said. “It’s important to let kids see how much they care. Each of my kids know to respect the police and to appreciate what they do.”