CCSD Police introduce “Cops and Pops” on campus

“Cops and Pops”, a one day event that allowed police officers to interact with students, was hosted by Spring Valley on October 8. Their goal was to be able to relate and speak with students in a safe environment where they could feel comfortable. Just like its name suggests, police officers engaged with students over some popsicles in the hopes that more students would participate and get involved. Other attractions such as a DJ booth, MC, dance battles, and rap competitions were all included for the entertainment and fun for students.

The ROTC (Reserve Officers’ Training Corps) was heavily involved with the cooperation of the event. Cadets were dressed in uniform and were passing out popsicles to students in the quad. Having the ROTC involved created an even balance between officers and students and helped with familiarity. Police dogs were allowed to be pet and started a lot of conversations with students and police officers.

       “You gotta make yourself approachable, if you’re approachable, kids will come up to you and it will make a safe environment for everybody,” Officer Anthony Cooke said.

        Cooke explains that as a child, he never felt that police officers could be considered friends. They were often more fearful than friendly, especially from a teenager’s point of view. Cooke explained that as he grew up, he always had questions that he wanted to ask police officers and felt that he was never given the opportunity. This event allowed students to ask officers any questions they wanted and get to know each of them personally. 

           “It’s showing that we support them and if we see something, we want to report something. It’s about doing the right thing when nobody’s looking,” Senior Naval Science Instructor Edward Dambach said.

      There has always been a sense of guilt when getting involved in problems around campus,whether it be from a fear of cops or simply not wanting to be included. This familiarity for students will hopefully allow students to be more comfortable opening up and reporting unsafe situations. Socializing with police officers in casual and open settings will help students trust the campus police enough to speak with them about anything.

       “If anything major happens in our school, hopefully it doesn’t, we can trust them to do their job and they can trust us to do our job,” senior Daniela Cortez said. 

        In a society where people expect help and initiative from the authorities,it is important for students to contribute by doing their part as well. This could help ensure the safety of Spring Valley’s campus by informing police officers as they take care of the situation. Police officers and students creating a team to help protect our school is one of the many goals that this event tried to accomplish.

        “This is where cadets are learning life skills, they’re learning what to do after they graduate from high school…and the service of others greater than themselves for the greater good,”  Dambach said.