Campus Police host ‘Coffee with a Cop’ event
By Emily Andsager, The Seahawk
Original article HERE
Students had the opportunity to visit Randall Library and have a cup of joe with members of the Campus Police at their monthly event Coffee with a Cop on Feb. 12. Some of the Campus Police that were there were Major Christian Christian Bertram lll, Support Services Division Commander Captain Cynthia Deacon, Lieutenant Steve Deacon, Sergeant Jeremy Gootee, Officer Kurtyka and Detective Toi Utley. Coffee mugs were given to those who attended the event, with the words “Coffee with a Cop” printed on the side.
The purpose of Coffee with a Cop is to bring together the UNCW community and give the students get to know the Campus Police. Cops can be intimidating with their uniforms, but with this program they hope to make it so that students will be more willing to come forward if they need help. Students should not hesitate to speak with an officer about a problem as the campus police’s job is to keep you safe.
Students had lively debates and questions on topics such as larceny, crime rates, alcohol, self defense classes, and more. When the topic of how the campus police deal with a situation, Lieutenant Steve Deacon and Sergeant Jeremy Gootee expand that there are steps that they follow a certain order. The order goes, “Uniform appearance, verbal, soft hands, Oc Spray, hard hands batons or tasers and lastly gun.” The Campus Police do everything in their power to fix a situation without it blowing out of proportion. By facing a situation with the same force, the goal is to get the problem solved without violence. But once in a while, the situation needs more force, so they go through the steps.
A major problem that students face is bike theft. Campus Police not only mediate between cars and bikes, but they also deal with stolen bikes, Lieutenant Stephen Deacon said. There are at least twenty-five to thirty reports of stolen bikes that come through their office each month.
“Bikes taken off campus are for the most part taken by non-university members from out of town,” says Operation Division Commander Captain Todd Curry. Most of the time bikes are stolen and left somewhere on campus, and those are usually the ones that get tracked down and returned to their owners. But the moment they leave campus, it is more likely that it will not be returned.
Thieves take bikes by using garden shears, bolt cutters and anything else sharp enough to cut through bike locks. Most people tend to not lock their bikes up at all, making it easier for a bike thief to get away with larceny.
Coffee with a Cop is a program that is also to give tips on how to stay safe, whether it is making sure that your carry your key to you car instead of looking down at your phone or when you are pumping your gas, to have your passenger seat door locked so that someone cannot take your belongings without your knowledge. Come join the Campus Police at the next Coffee with a Cop which occurs every second Wednesday of every month, the next being March 18th!