“Coffee With a Cop” to raise awareness of autism, hosted at Rt 33 Starbucks

April 2, 2021

By: Tyler Eckel

ROBBINSVILLE TOWNSHIP (MERCER)– A “Coffee With a Cop” event was hosted at the Robbinsville Starbucks on Route 33 this morning, raising autism awareness.

It was held from 9:00 am, to 11:00 pm. Officers from multiple departments, including Hamilton, Robbinsville, NJ State Police, The College of New Jersey Police, Pennington, Trenton, West Windsor, Ewing, and others made an appearance.

Hamilton and Robbinsville Police had tables set up out front in order to raise awareness for autism. Hamilton Police were handing out autism awareness identification stickers, which will alert police and other first responders that an autistic person may be present at the location the sticker is displayed. If you missed this great event, and wish to receive stickers, you can contact Detective Robert O’Hare of the Hamilton Police Division Community Policing Section at 609-581-4021 or rohare@hamiltonpd.org. You can also receive these stickers from your child’s School Resource Officer or L.E.A.D officer working in various Hamilton Public Schools.

This is all part of a coordinated effort that has been sponsored by a number of police departments throughout the county regarding progressing the issue of autism awareness. The cooperative effort is meant to focus on the issues that challenge police officers on a day to day basis when dealing with autistic individuals. The program intends on focusing the caregivers of the autistic individual in their potential interactions with police.

Today, a number of departments gathered at the Starbucks in Robbinsville to kick off the program. Robbinsville has been a lead in autism awareness, and that is why they were chosen to be the first stop. The efforts of the new program will be ongoing over the next few months in surrounding towns throughout the county.

An event is being planned to be held in Hamilton Township in June of this year.

In addition to raising autism awareness, this event was a great to bring police and the community together, engaging in conversations while enjoying a cup of coffee.

All COVID-19 guidelines were followed.