About a dozen people have turned out for Warrnambool's first Coffee with a Cop event.
The keen community members had the opportunity to sit down with two of their local police officers - Acting Sergeant Ben Timpson and Acting Senior Sergeant Travis Barber - over free coffee at Dr Tully's Espresso Bar on Tuesday.
The event was hosted and funded by Warrnambool Shopping Centre centre management.
Acting Sergeant Timpson said the initiative gave people the "opportunity to chat with their local police in an informal and relaxed environment to discuss community safety issues that matter to them".
Warrnambool Shopping Centre marketing manager Paula Creasey said it was the first time community members and police officers had a chance to have a chat and drink a coffee together at the CBD site, but it wouldn't be the last.
"Initiatives like Coffee with a Cop are great as they allow people to feel engaged and connected, which helps to build a strong community," she said.
"Being able to sit down with a police officer really humanises them. I think the community's engagement with police is usually under stressful conditions so to be able to just sit down and have a coffee is a really positive interaction.
"We have been running this program very successfully at the Mount Gambier Marketplace since March of this year. We plan to host the event at the Warrnambool centre bi-monthly on the first Tuesday of the month.
"The Warrnambool Shopping Centre is pleased to be able to participate in events that foster community engagement."
Ms Creasey said the event ran for an hour, with conversations lasting between 10 and 15 minutes.
"We've had school groups attend our Mount Gambier Coffee with a Cop and we've seen some really positive engangements between cops and students over a free milkshake," she said.
"That is something we hope to roll out in Warrnambool at some point too. We've got about 12 people here today which is a good turn out for the first time."
Dr Tully's Espresso Bar is located at the Warrnambool Shopping Centre on Koroit Street.
Coffee with a Cop runs between 10am and 11am. The next event will be held in February next year.
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