Police meet with students at Southern University for 'Coffee with a Cop'
BATON ROUGE - With the lure of free donuts and a cup of coffee, students at Southern University spent one-on-one time with police officers Wednesday.
“The reason we chose Southern University today is because you had an incident here last week,” said Captain Frederick Thomas of the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office.
'Coffee with a Cop' is a national initiative to break down barriers between police and the communities they serve. Following multiple violent incidents in the Scotlandville area in just a matter of days, students also want to establish a good rapport.
“The police are here to serve, and they cannot help us if we're not willing to do our part and let them know what's going on and have a connection with them also,” student Cashonda Roddy said.
“We have to make a connection with them so we'll know what's going on and they can connect back and forth with us,” she continued.
“We chose this university because the criminal justice program for one," Thomas added. "We are actually trying to recruit here for the sheriff's office, the city police, the state police. Everybody's looking for officers to replenish our ranks.”
Encouraging students to be more aware and report what they see, officers are reminding students that community policing requires a relationship on both sides, and some students want to join them in that effort.
“For me I want to go into law enforcement so it means a lot that I get to come in and meet actual people in my field, get that knowledge and experience, take some of that wisdom and apply it to what I want to do with my life,” said another student, Alexandria Nelson.