Andrew Mendez/Nevada Sagebrush
Officers talking with students at the Coffee with a Cop event on Wednesday, Oct. 3. The event aimed to increase transperancy between the community and University Police Services.

The University of Nevada, Reno, Police Services partnered with the Associated Students of the University of Nevada to encourage students and community members to engage in conversation on issues that are affecting campus all while drinking coffee and eating doughnuts.  

Coffee With a Cop was held on Wednesday, Oct. 3, in the Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center as part of a national effort.

The purpose of Coffee With A Cop is to bring community members and police officers together to create open dialogue, build trust and increase transparency.

Questions centered around marijuana activity, cars not yielding for students on Virginia Street and what to do in the event an active shooter is on campus.

The event allowed students to engage with multiple officers, but the majority of questions were primarily answered by Assistant Director Todd Renwick.

Marijuana

Renwick said the number one call made to the residence halls is on the premise of marijuana odor.

“We are a smoke free university,” Renwick said. “[Marijuana] is still illegal if you are under the age of 21, so therefore it falls within the criminal municipal code for being illegal.”

Despise being a legalized state, recreationally and medicinally, the possession and use of marijuana is prohibited at any Nevada System of Higher Education institutes, according to to Board of Regents Handbook Title 4.

Renwick further said it is an issue that needs to be addressed with education and awareness.

At freshman orientation students and parents are informed by university police about the consequences of using marijuana on campus, according to Renwick.

Accidents on Virginia Street 

Renwick explained that vehicle related incidents on Virginia Street, by the residence halls, is not only a driver issue but pedestrians play a role as well.

The issue, according to Renwick, is that drivers and pedestrians are distracted and not aware of their surroundings.

“It’s a pedestrian problem,” Renwick said. “It’s a vehicle problem. It’s a human problem. They need to be distraction free.”

Renwick said university police are always writing tickets to distracted drivers making sure students are safe at all times, but students need to be educated on the dangers of being distracted and crossing the road.

Renwick further explain the Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County is considering design changes to the area.

Active Shooter

Following the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting that killed 17 students and staff on February 14, in Parkland, Fla. Students asked about precautions taken by the university to ensure an event like that will not happen here.

“We have not only campus plans, but regional plans in place [in the event an active shooter event],” Renwick said. “Our officers train on a regular bases on those kinds of incidents. Reality is there’s still a high probability that some sort of mass casualty event could happen anywhere. We train on a regular basis.”

Renwick explained that many faculty and staff on campus ask for active shooter event trainings and that university police is looking out for the best interests of students and staff by hosting trainings throughout the year, univeirty community members can sign up for.

Andrew Mendez can be reached at andrewmendez@sagebrush.unr.edu or on Twitter @NevadaSagebrush.