Shippensburg University’s campus police department held its annual picnic Sept. 10 at the student recreation pavilion to create a promising start to the school year.
The SU Police Department has hosted a picnic every year since 2016 to welcome new students onto campus. The picnic is held to get students familiar with officers who will be walking around and patrolling the area making sure they are safe.
“It really ties the community together,” freshman Courtney Graf said.
“It was my first time at the picnic and I felt very welcomed. I did not get the chance of talking to a police officer one-on-one, but if I did there would have been a connection,” Graf said.
Police chief Michael Lee is planning other events for police officers to interact with students to form a healthier relationship between the two groups.
“We are going to do several coffee with a cop initiatives in the future,” Lee said.
“Once we get the details worked out we are going to do lunch with the chief where I go to the different dining halls and students can come sit with me and we can chit chat about anything.”
Lee is willing to collaborate with other student groups to spread the message of unity. He wants to become more involved in the students’ lives.
“We had a large influx of students and we really enjoyed that, but we want it to grow even more and get the word out so more people can attend [the picnic],” Lee said.
Before he left the event, Lee provided advice for students.
“Pay attention to your teachers because you are learning something new. It is different from high school and you are learning from a different pace,” Lee said.
“At the end of the day, you are the one who decides if you go to class. Do your homework and become very successful.”