'Coffee' brings cops to campus
Bicycle thefts, the open carry law for gun owners, car break-ins and sexual assault were among the topics raised by Pacific University students last Wednesday, when the Forest Grove Police Department brought its Coffee with a Cop outreach program there for the first time.
Usually officers show up at coffee shops or restaurants around town, as they are this morning (8 to 10 a.m. at McDonalds on Pacific Avenue) but Pacifics newspaper, The Index, invited them to the campus.
Community Service Officer Lauren Quinsland immediately warmed to the idea because it would expose college students to officers in a casual, positive setting. The demographic is completely different from Maggies (Buns) or McDonalds, Quinsland said.
Capt. Mike Herb said when the officers first set up outside Washburn Hall on a sunny day with many students lounging nearby, they made a general announcement that didnt seem to spark any interest. So they began going table to table, asking students if theyd like FGPD temporary tattoos. That got more responses, Herb said. First people would take a tattoo, then at the last minute theyd remember they had a police-related question after all.
Many worried about bike thefts. Its been a huge problem, Quinsland said.
Some asked whether they had to, by law, report a sexual assault (no) or whether they had to, by law, submit a rape kit after an assault (also no, although it might be a good idea for the victim to preserve evidence in case they change their mind later and decide to report the incident).
One student wanted to know, If police come to my door, do I have to let them in? The answer is no unless the police have a warrant to enter the home or they can see something inside the house that warrants entry (a body, piles of cocaine, etc.).
While there were a few negative reactions to news of the police visit, both online and in person, most students reacted positively.
Many were surprised to learn that the police department sits directly across the street from the campus, said Quinsland. A Pacific alum, Quinsland said those students are in good company: I didnt know that for my first year and a half.