On Saturday Feb. 16, Concerned Black Students (CBS) and the Wittenberg Police Division (Witt PD) joined together to host Need for Speed, also known as How to Build a Better Relationship. This event was meant to allow for students to interact and get to know a few police officers that work on our campus. The event began in Founders Pub, but quickly advanced to Doppelgangers for some fun and games. A diverse range of students showed up to the event to interact with the officers.
“This is the event where people can get to know the police officers on campus better and to build better relationships with them,” Emmanuel Thombs, ’21, said one of the coordinators for the event.
This statement seems to refer to the negative stigma that comes with interaction between students and the police. Specifically, police officers can be perceived as ‘out to get you’ when they are patrolling. This event was specifically meant to break the barriers that surround this relationship.
The officers that were present at the event were Chief of Police Jim Hutchins, Lieutenant Lee McCartney, Officer Connie Picciano, Officer Seth Dole and Officer Beau Ray.
The officers discussed their personal lives and even discussed the current weather.
Officer Picciano reminisced her journey to becoming a police officer. Before Officer Picciano began her career in law enforcement, Officer Picciano pursued a major in Education focused on students in early elementary school at Bowling Green State University. She changed her major to law enforcement, but her mother didn’t want her to. However, her mother talked to her grandfather about her concerns and he convinced her to change her mind.
After their discussion, officers and students moved into the campus’s game room—Doppelgangers—to play pool, air hockey and foosball.
Officer Picciano put her competitiveness to the test when she paired with students for a good battle in Foosball. Officer Picciano also competed against a student in air hockey and in the end she lost a close match.
Chief Hutchins and Lieutenant Mccartney played pool with several students. In founders, Officer Ray was playing darts with Thombs, while Officer Dole talked with a student.
The event gave students an opportunity to interact with the police department who patrol this campus and began work to remove the negative stigma about police interaction.