UIPD host Coffee with a Cop

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UIndy Police Chief and Director of Campus Safety Brandon Pate opened the new semester with the promise of new educational programming between officers and students according to a campus-wide email sent on Jan. 14. One of the first new events hosted by UIndy Police was their Coffee with a Cop event.

“It’s something that’s been done for as long as I’ve been a police officer,” Pate said. “And the idea behind it was that we want to seemingly create a space that isn’t necessarily agenda oriented. It’s just getting together, having coffee, talking about notifications, talking about how your semester is going and learning about our community.”

Coffee with a Cop is a global program according to Pate and the program’s website. The purpose of the program is to bring officers and their community together through conversations over coffee according to the program. It serves as an opportunity for barriers to be broken between law enforcement and the community they serve, or, in other words, bridge the gap between them according to Pate. 

Sophomore elementary education major Ivy Harkenrider attended the Coffee with a Cop event that took place on Feb. 2 in the Schwitzer Student Center Atrium. Harkenrider said she learned about dispatch procedures and more about what the job entails.

“The event went very well. I got a free coffee. And then I sat down and we made small talk for about 20 minutes,” Harkenrider said. “I took away that our police officers are probably doing more than we think they’re doing.”

Pate said that he is planning on instating Coffee with a Cop as a regular, recurring event that takes place on Wednesdays all over campus. The UIndy Coffee with a Cop programming will involve co sponsors as well, said Pate, with groups like the Black Male Initiative, UIndy Athletics, the Criminal Justice department and Indiana State Police partnering with UIPD to engage with more people.

“The next one is in Ender’s Engagement Center. And then we’re going to move to the Health Pavilion and to the library,” Pate said.

Coffee with a Cop is not the only way students can connect with UIndy Police officers. According to Pate, the new substation located in Schwitzer Student Center Room 208B is open to students if they want to sit down with Pate and have a conversation. UIPD is also looking to organize a safety walk according to Pate where police officers and UIndy community members can walk around campus and discuss student concerns.

“As the Acting Chief, I will be here Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2:30 to 4:30 as long as I don’t have meetings, so they can walk in anytime, ask me any questions, say hi, sit down, have a drink, have a meal, whatever it may be,” Pate said.

In addition, Pate said that UIndy Police are planning more programming such as Pizza on Patrol, hall events and states that he is open to suggestions and ideas from students. UIPD looks to develop more programming where the police department and the UIndy community can facilitate engagement according to Pate.

“[UIndy Police officers] are dedicated individuals to UIndy,” Pate said. “I wish that it was more readily known how many of those officers are UIndy graduates, came through this school, got their undergrad degrees here, got their graduate degrees here, decided to either continue to stay here or come back here and be police officers. They’re motivated by the Greyhound community. All of them have a personal mastery in trying to keep this campus safe.”

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