The first Starbucks "Coffee with a Cop" event in Seattle kicked off Thursday offering the several dozen people who crowded into a Capitol Hill coffee shop a chance to meet the officers that patrol their streets.
They talked with officers about everything from illegal drugs to garbage and aggressive panhandlers, which local resident Sharon Warner insists loiter outside the Starbucks, shouting at workers.
"Can you imagine having a job where people yell at you, every day?" she said.
"Yes," replied Officer Drew Fowler, smiling broadly, "Yes I can." Laughter broke the tension.
And that's the point.
"Nothing is more important than community trust and we only develop trust if we communicate with those we serve," said Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O'Toole.
She says the goal is to encourage residents and their local officers to work together, to fight crime, and better address public health problems, like homelessness and addiction.
"The more we engage the more we realize what we have in common," said O'Toole.
Starbucks plans to sponsor 100 "Coffee with a Cop," events in neighborhoods across the country.