CHICAGO (CBS) – Using coffee and conversation to connect is what the South Side Chicago Police Department is doing to recruit new members on Friday.
CBS 2’s Steven Graves tells us about a unique program promoted by the Chicago Urban League that encourages face-to-face interaction to break down barriers and foster understanding.
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Call it a place to find common ground – where coffee and conversation are brewing.
Chicago police and people in the community are talking, laughing and crying.
” I cried. I do not lie.”
Cequena Wilkes came to Afro Joe’s cafe in Auburn Gresham for help.
“I think it’s just the fear of knowing that I might not be successful.”
She wants to be a police officer.
“It’s just that physique and the credits that are my barrier,” Wilkes said.
But she passed her first exam. Here’s hoping this Chicago police recruiting event gives him the final push.
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“I want to be a detective. That’s really my goal.
For the Chicago-born mom of two, it’s personal.
“I grew up in the system. You know, my mom was murdered in this town. When I was 14.” Wilkes said. “We need more people here who can relate and seriously understand what’s going on.”
That’s why the Chicago Police chose this store for this event – Coffee with a Cop.
An annual and national day which the DPC has made a recurring recruitment tool. Showing enthusiastic people what could be and telling the hesitant about not just the police, but all of life’s obstacles.
“It’s sister to sister. You have this. Do not abandon.
Officers say it’s not about increasing numbers, but about finding ambition, drive and passion for the community – a calling for Wilkes.
“You want to be the change because we need it. We need leaders who can step up and say, ‘I’ve had enough’,” she said.
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You can expect to see more events like this at local businesses, in part to help increase diversity within the Chicago Police Department.