Pop with a Cop Connects DPS to Students

The Department of Public Safety (DPS) at UM-Flint is known by many students as being admirable and helpful, and for a good reason. In addition to sponsoring events and clubs on campus, including Block Club and UpStander training, just to name a few, the department has also continuously made an effort to connect with students on a personal level. This effort can clearly be seen in DPS’ weekly event, Pop with a Cop.

Pop with a Cop, which has been a part of campus since 2012, is a tabling event that takes place on the third floor of the University Center every Wednesday from 12:30 until 1:30 p.m. While there, members of DPS offer cans of soda to students while welcoming a friendly and open conversation about students’ personal matters, events and issues on campus, and public safety concerns, as well as other topics students would like to address.

Ray Hall, director of public safety at the university, says the event was started to improve trust and communication between the campus community and DPS.

“The relationship between Public Safety and our campus community needs to be one built upon mutual trust and respect–and that starts with open, honest, and on-going communication,” said Hall.

This concept of mutual trust, that Pop with a Cop supports, is one that has become increasingly important to students in light of the recent events and political atmosphere which has been brewing in the United States.

“Our community relies upon us to ‘protect and serve’ and, in return, we rely upon our community for support and cooperation in order to be effective. When communication and trust is present, our shared goal of a safer community can be achieved,” said Hall.

Many students have reached out to DPS thanks to this weekly event, helping them open up and be more willing to communicate with the officers. Hall attributes much of the campus’ safety to the students who do so. However, many reach out with other concerns, like parking, or even regarding fun events on campus.

“The conversations range from talking about an upcoming football game to someone reporting a serious crime or safety concern. Most conversations are simply about the topic of the day on campus,” said Hall.