Cops and coffee shops: Here's your chance to meet Dearborn's police chief

Long-time Dearborn resident Peggy Richard has made a career out of throwing events and bringing people together, be it in her former role as Director of Events for Dearborn Chamber of Commerce, her current role as PR Director for DFCU Financial. But for 2017, Peggy wanted to do something different; she wanted to get involved on a personal level and do something on her own. So much so, in fact, that she made it her New Year's resolution to do just that.

And after just four months, Peggy will have made good on that resolution. On Sunday, April 30, members of the community are invited to an informal sitdown with Dearborn Police Chief Ronald Haddad for a coffee chat at the Starbucks in west downtown Dearborn. It's an opportunity for residents to ask questions or have a simple conversation with the chief. The event is called Cops and Coffee and runs from 2 to 3 p.m.

Peggy organized the event to help facilitate conversation between the community and its police force.

"We don't want anyone to be intimidated to speak," says Peggy. "It's just sitting around a coffee shop like people do all the time and having a conversation."

Peggy has lived in Dearborn for over two decades, and both she and her husband have spent most of their careers here, she says. Rather than send their child to private school, the Richard family sent their daughter to the city's public schools to expose her to the city's great diversity of people, which is something Peggy loves about Dearborn.

It was a conversation between mother and daughter that helped spur the Cops and Coffee event. Peggy had been speaking a lot with her daughter about the Black Lives Matter movement, and they had participated in the demonstrations at Detroit Metro Airport together following President Trump's first immigration ban. But Peggy wants people to appreciate police officers, too. She says she believes there's potential understanding from simply talking with one another.

"I want people to know they can feel safe in this community," says Peggy. "We have so many great things in common."

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MJ Galbraith is a writer and musician living in Detroit. Follow him on Twitter @mikegalbraith.