M⁠i⁠k⁠i⁠ Yamash⁠i⁠⁠t⁠a

February 17, 2023

February 17, 2023

“Living in the hustle and bustle of Hollywood, California, I’m pretty used to seeing police officers around. I often pass by incidents where people are getting arrested or there’s some chaos going on, and it stands out to me that policing must be a hard job.” 

“On a community Facebook group, I saw a flyer for a Coffee with a Cop event. Out of curiosity, I decided to attend. The event was eye-opening. I was able to meet almost all the officers from the Hollywood police division over a cup of coffee in a casual setting.” 

“I got to meet and talk to multiple officers at length and ask them about what their shifts are like and what their procedure is under different circumstances. It gave me a much deeper appreciation for the fact that – every hour of their working day – police officers have to be fully engaged in what’s happening in a particular neighborhood, good and bad.” 

“I also went to a walk-along event and met many other people from my neighborhood. We walked down Hollywood Boulevard with LAPD officers and got to see our neighborhood through their eyes. They have to keep a watchful eye on what’s going on and be ready for a wide range of events at any moment. I even saw them make an arrest after a fight outside a bar. The event brought me closer to my neighbors and allowed me to engage with others who live in the area.”

“As an actor, these experiences gave me valuable insight into what it might be like to play someone in this type of environment. But it also made me realize that as a member of the community, knowing more cops makes our community stronger. We all have a connection to the safety of our neighborhood because we’re all stakeholders in some way, whether we own property or rent.” 

“One of the officers I met at a couple of events really stood out to me. When I first saw her, I was surprised by her size. She was about my height at 4’10” and I thought to myself, ‘She’s small but tough.’ It was touching to see that you can’t judge someone’s profession just by looking at them.” 

“If you have some free time, I highly recommend participating in your community by going to events with your local police department. It shows that you support public safety, community engagement, and want to make a positive impact in your neighborhood.”

“I know there’s been a negative sentiment towards police lately, but the majority of officers are just trying to serve and make things better for the citizens. Going to these events is my way of contributing to their service as a civilian. By showing up, I signal that I care about the safety of my neighborhood and their safety. It helps generate the goodwill they need and deserve.” 

Miki Yamashita
Hollywood, California

Miki is an actress, comedian and lyric soprano. She is an advocate for classical singers and comedians of color.