By MARC ARTEUS, Staff Reporter |
The Amarillo College Police Department is holding two come-and-go events called “Cops and Cookies” so students can meet and get to know the people responsible for campus safety.
The goal is to help students understand what campus police do on a daily basis and to build a bridge between them and the ACPD, Lt. Scott Acker, an AC police officer, said.
The first “Cops and Cookies” was held Apr. 11, and the second will be from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. May 2 on the second floor of the College Union Building.
“We are trying to reach out and get involved more with the AC community,” Acker said. “The media and television in general represent cops as bad and grumpy individuals. We want students to see us on a different level – that we are humans too and we are not the way we are represented,” he said.
According to Chief Stephanie Birkenfeld, the AC police chief, it is often difficult for students to approach campus police officers. “We do not want the students to be afraid of us. We want you to know that it is safe to talk to us and that we are people too,” she said.
Birkenfeld said she hopes the “Cops and Cookies” events will build a bridge between the students and the AC police officers by providing an opportunity for students to walk up and talk to the officials and get to know what their real job is about and how to reach them in emergencies.
They also hope to let the students know that they are approachable and can be fun to hang around with, she said.
Paul Herrera, an education major, said he believes students shouldn’t feel fear when they see a police officer, but instead, will feel a sense of pride and relief knowing that the school is protected.
“Cops are there to protect us, not to harm us,” Herrera said. “They are there to keep the campus safe and to make sure that us students get a proper education in a danger-free environment.
If only students will give these people a chance to get to know them, they will realize that being around with a cop should not make them feel uncomfortable,” he said.