A test the next day, maybe plans for lunch, or possibly just how close the weekend is are the common thoughts for many students about Thursdays. However, for Joseph Eickman, the interim directory of public safety at UWS, Thursdays are when he hosts his weekly Coffee with a Cop meeting on Zoom.
Coffee with a Cop’s mission is to “break down barriers between police officers and the citizens they serve by removing agendas and allowing opportunities to ask questions, voice concerns, and get to know the officers in your neighborhood.”
Every Thursday from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m., Eickman is available to meet and answer any questions that students and members of the community have about policing. Eickman, who has served as a UW-Superior officer since 2009, was named the Interim Director of Public Safety this past August. However, due to the new position, Eickman finds himself in his office more than ever, so he finds the meetings to be a great way to meet new students and members of the community.
During the meetings, Eickman is happy to help clear up any confusion or just to talk about what is going on in the police world. “I am always open to having the tough conversations and explaining police actions such as the laws and process. For too long, the police have held that as a secret and I want to change that to help build trust and allow people to learn that. Truthful answers that help people learn about what we go through.”
Coffee with a Cop began this semester on March 18, and Eickman has no plan of stopping the weekly meetings as long as people continue to show up and chat. Eickman has a number of future plans, including advertising beyond the Student Digest and changing the format of the meetings. Eickman noted that if buildings continue to reopen, vaccines keep coming out, and classes start to come back, he plans to change the meetings over to in person meetings in the YU or alternating weeks of Zoom and in-person meetings.
For more information about Coffee with a Cop, check the student digest. Eickman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 715-394-8155.