‘We’re just people:’ WSUPD engages with campus to increase student comfort


Maegan Vincent

Officer Thomas of the Wichita Police Department engages in conversation with students. On Oct. 31, the WSUPD hosted “Coffee with a Cop” to encourage students to interact with their local law enforcement.

Coffee and conversation brought the WSU police department and students closer together on Halloween day.

 The event was a collaboration between the WSUPD, the Wichita Police Department and the Derby Police Department. The event was hosted to encourage students to engage with their local law enforcement.

“It’s just a way [for law enforcement] to interact with the community,” Nathan Johnson, WSUPD administrative sergeant, said. “If students have any questions, they can feel free to ask us or just talk with us.”

The Wichita State Campus Police Department encouraged students to engage with their community law enforcement and build more positive relationships with the students.

“We’re here for anything you need,” Mackenzie Balthazor, WSUPD officer, said. “Whether it’s a walk home at night because it’s dark and you don’t feel comfortable or you have a flat tire and don’t know what to do. We’re here for all those things.”

The department hopes that events like these increase students’ comfort with asking for help from the WSUPD.

“A lot of people see cops and see us as this big authority figure, but at the end of the day, we’re just people,” Officer Balthazor said. “We’re here to serve you guys. So by learning about us and knowing who we are, we can create better interactions and create better trust within our career.”