The TCU Police Department hosted the first “Cops and Conversations” event on Wednesday, September 27th. The purpose of this event was to create a laid-back environment for students where they can feel free to interact with the police officers that protect and serve the TCU community. It is a great opportunity for students to get their questions answered and to build relationships with the police officers. The TCU Police Department is made up of retired Fort Worth officers and retired officers from other large departments. After their time of serving and protecting large areas, the officers felt obligated to keep protecting and serving their communities. They each have an incredible amount of experience and endless amounts of great stories.
When asked about the importance of this event, Assistant Police Chief Robert Rangel explained, “we think students probably have a lot of questions about why cops do the things they do.. we want to provide students the opportunity to ask us questions, ask us hard questions.”
Chief Rangel went on to explain that the goal of the police department is to keep people safe and positively impact the people of the communities to be good citizens. “Every officer I have met … I can’t think of one that wouldn’t run towards the sound of gun fire.” He made an important point for students to realize – the TCU police would risk their lives for their students. They are a committed and dedicated force. The Cops and Conversations events are a perfect opportunity to create positive relationships with the men and women willing to risk their lives for the students’ safety.
Officer George Steen also responded about the importance of the event, explaining that he, “wants people to understand why we do the things we do.” He expressed how excited he was to see this event happening and desires greatly for it to continue. He also emphasized that awareness is one of the best qualities for students to have, and to know their surroundings. Officer Steen said there is a reason “God gives us the hair on the back of our necks…do not discount something.” He hopes students listen to their instincts. Safety is their first priority. This event offered students advice, and it was made clear that there was no such thing as a bad question.
The TCU Police Department also offers classes to the students. Crime Prevention Officer Pamela Christian and Chief Rangel hope to see more and more active shooter training and defense training on campus. These opportunities offer strategies for students to learn how to respond appropriately if they ever found themselves in a worst-case scenario. Officer Christian teaches the Resisting Aggression with Defense (RAD) class for women and expressed it as her “favorite thing do to.” She loves seeing students become more and more educated on how to protect themselves, and she encourages groups of women to participate in this class together – the more the better. The next RAD class for women will be held next month, and Officer Christian will soon send out that information to all students.
After Officer Christian explained that students’ safety is their top priority, she and Officer Steen continued to emphasize all the resources the department offers to educate students how to handle and react to any situation, and they encourage students to reach out to the department. The TCU police officers are willing to teach groups of students that request lessons to learn defense methods, active shooter training, and anything of interest.
Cops and Conversations is the perfect way to interact and build a relationship with the TCU Police Department and thank the officers for their service. They are each willing to answer any and all questions that students may have. It was encouraging to see students interested in this event.
More Cops and Conversations events will be held throughout the semester. TCU College Republicans will also be hosting one of these events for the TCU police department later in the semester called “Coffee with Cops.”