The University of Nevada, Reno’s Police Services hosted their tabling event, Coffee With a Cop on Monday, Dec. 2.
The goal of the event to make UNRPD available for conversations with students, faculty and staff to answer questions, listen to concerns and maintain a positive relationship with the university.
The tabling was set up outside of the Knowledge Center Rotunda. Several university police officers were in attendance, including Chief of Police Todd Renwick, Officer Robyn Wasser and even Bomb Detection K9 Sapa.
Coffee With a Cop is an annual event hosted by police departments around the country. The goal is to break down barriers between police officers and civilians and create an environment for conversation.
UNRPD decided to hold the event multiple times during the fall semester, deciding it would be a better way to connect with the student body.
“This is, I think, our fourth [Coffee With a Cop] this semester,” Chief of Police Todd Renwick said. “For us, it’s obviously a way for us to engage with students and offer a cup of coffee and a donut and hopefully have somebody come up and ask you a question they wouldn’t ask you any other day. So it’s trying to break down those barriers.”
Chef Renwick said he wants to create more trust between the UNRPD and the students they serve.
University policing is a specialized job in that issues that occur on a college campus are much larger than if they were to occur in the city. Chief Renwick has stated that building trust, communication and better relationships will help Police Services do a better job.
“… We have to have compassion…” Renwick said. “We [have to] show our community we care, and we still have to maintain all of the skills we need to have in law enforcement because there’s times we need to be police. We have to hone in on being tactical when we need to be tactical, but then, overwhelmingly, we have to be people and we have to know how to talk to our community and listen and engage with our community.”
Police Services plans to continue the event in the spring and will plan other events to speak with students in an effort to implement trust between the two.
Sarah Strang can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @sarahstrang100.