On Oct. 30 from 9 to 11 a.m., local law enforcement gathered to hand out free coffee and pastries to students, faculty and staff at ‘Coffee with a Cop’. Officers from Texas A&M’s University Police Department held this event in the Memorial Student Center, and encouraged people passing by to stop and have a chat over a cup of coffee. In the past, this event has allowed students and officers to build trusting relationships with one another, and helped to further the UPD’s connections with students. The officers hope that this event has helped to build relationships between them and the A&M population.
Assistant Chief Mike Johnson said that events like these that allow for open and casual communication between students and law enforcement to help develop healthy relationships.
“Really it provided an opportunity for us to have conversations about what we do, their experiences here at A&M, and anything that we could do to assist them,” Johnson said.
Johnson said that were commonly brought up throughout the event dealt with student attendees wanting information about working in law enforcement.
“Some have actually asked about job opportunities and internships,” Johnson said. “This gives us an opportunity to network with our community, tell them what we do, the services we offer to them, and that we’re here to help.”
Among the students who stopped by was economics junior Kyle Ohlen, who said that he wanted to talk to the cops about his hopes of having a career in law enforcement.
“I’ve just always been interested in being a police officer,” Ohlen said, “It was really my first opportunity to talk to them.”
Even if the students were not there to ask about law enforcement, the officers welcomed their company, and talked with the students about what was going on in their lives. Lieutenant Bobby Richardson said that he talked with some students about their classes.
“There’s a lot of tests going on apparently,” Richardson said. “So we talked about some of the tests that the students are taking and getting ready for, and we sent them off with some coffee and some breakfast.”
Other attendees such as psychology sophomore Cyrus Armijo said that he enjoyed his time speaking to the officers, and appreciates their presence on campus.
“They’re cool,” Armijo said. “I like talking to them. They’re nice and good to have around.”
Richardson said he thoroughly enjoyed speaking to the students, and that their feedback from the event was very appreciative.
“Most all the students are very positive,” Richardson said. “They obviously enjoy the free coffee and the food. We enjoy them stopping by and visiting with us, and most of all the students just wanted to thank us.”
Armijo said that everyone sees people in Aggieland willing to help each other out, and that is exactly what this event exemplified.
“Hot coffee, good pastries, that’s definitely a good incentive to stop by,” Armijo said. “They’re all big smiles, good energy, nice hospitality, everything you want to be a part of when you come to A&M.”