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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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A&M police discuss serving the Aggie community

K9+Tyson+has+been+a+part+of+the+TAMU+Police+since+May+2017.
Photo by Meredith Seaver

K9 Tyson has been a part of the TAMU Police since May 2017.

The people who protect and serve the Texas A&M community are recognized everyday but there are some common misconceptions that the student body may hold.
The Texas A&M University Police Department has been serving the Aggie community for many years, by protecting the community and providing beneficial resources such as self defense classes and counseling.
Police Chief Mike Johnson said in the department’s mission statement, it focuses on providing a safe and secure environment through education and the cooperative spirit of all university community members.
“What’s key to that is we learn from each other,” Johnson said. “Whether we’re learning from the community in better ways to keep them safe and try to listen to them and then also providing opportunity for things that we pick up on to pass on to our community as well.”
Serving the community for 25 years, Johnson said he expects his officers to act with professionalism in everything they do and to commit themselves to representing that while on duty.
“We really work hard and we have a great work environment and I’ve just enjoyed working here over my 25 years that I’ve been here,” Johnson said. “So [I’m] just proud of everyone I work with and we’re going to continue to do the best we can in our endeavor to keep the campus safe.”
Lieutenant Bobby Richardson said he chose to work for the university over a city department because he’s an Aggie, and many other officers that work with UPD feel the same connection.
“There’s other places to work, but being an Aggie, this is the best place to work is the university police department,” Richardson said. “So it’s kind of like Aggies helping Aggies. You look at our department, our chief of police Chief Johnson, he’s an Aggie, our assistant chief of police, he’s also an Aggie. We’re all Aggies and we’re here at the university police because we love being an Aggie and love working for the university.”
Richardson said there are many similarities between university and city police departments, but one difference is that university police deal with an ever-changing student community.
“We reach out and try to interact with our community,” Richardson said. “One of the challenges we have is every year our community leaves and changes. We have a group graduate, a new group comes in. Whereas you have people that live in the cities in Bryan or College Station that have lived there 30, 40, 50 years.”
When reflecting on her favorite memories while serving the community, Sergeant Jennifer Enloe said she liked participating in AWARE, a women’s self defense program.
“It’s really nice and uplifting to see some of the women that come through that don’t necessarily have the ability to be so confident themselves,” Enloe said. “By the time they walk out of that door, they’ve just shaped into just a new person. That’s really what our goal in law enforcement is to make sure that we treat people with fairness and civility and all the other things that we also educate them to be able to take care of themselves if the occasion arises.”
Police officer Thomas McCorkill said working for the University Police Department has introduced him to people he normally would not have met and has given him the opportunity to help them.
 “To be able to provide a safe environment to these students, go out, talk to them, whether I stopped one of them on a traffic stop or I’m just out walking and I stopped and talked to them, gave them directions, things like that,” McCorkill said. “It’s allowed me to meet a wide variety of individuals. We have foreign exchange students from all over the world who bring their own unique cultures and they bring their own food and ways of life and their own dialects.”
When thinking about working for the University Police Department, Richardson said he feels a connection to the students because he has walked in their shoes.
“You’re very empathetic toward what they’re doing and what they’re trying to accomplish,” Richardson said. “Being a proud Aggie, I couldn’t think of a better place to serve.”

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