Sac State police aim to connect with campus

Andrew Stiffler

Often seen as just a badge, the Sacramento State Police Department attempted to close the gap between officers and the campus community by hosting the third annual Coffee with a Cop, Tuesday at the Well.

Hosted by the Student Health and Counseling Services and Sac State PD, students, faculty and staff to enjoy coffee and doughnuts while getting to know campus officers and ask questions.

Jessica Heskin, SHCS Health Advocate and Educator, said they hold this event every year during Weeks of Welcome, and it gives Sac State students the opportunity to have a comfortable conversation with police officers.

“It takes a certain amount of courage to come into an environment with a bunch of police officers,” Sacramento State Police Chief Mark Iwasa said. “We are very open to being approached by students and being asked questions.”

The shared opinion most students have on approaching campus police officers is one of uneasiness.

“I think students are nervous to just talk to the police,” Peer Health Educator Kaylah Ealy said.

Discussions ranged from issues about current laws on and off campus to personal questions about the officers themselves.

While many students and faculty were there purposely to attend the event, some were just curious about the coffee and doughnuts. It was the free coffee that brought accounting major Dou Her, 22, into the Well.

“It’s definitely helpful, it makes you feel closer with the police department on campus,” Her said.

Heskin said the ultimate goal is to make sure the students feel comfortable enough to reach out to police and use important measures the university has in place.

“I think that most of the people that attend the event walk away with an understanding of what we are about,” Iwasa said.