WKU police add officers to residence halls

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – If you’re a student at Western Kentucky University and you notice a police officer in your residence hall more than usual, don’t worry, it’s all part of a new plan.

Now all 15 residence halls are assigned to a police officer from the WKU Police Department who will make random stops to get to know some of the residents.

“What we like to do is community policing and student safety is our number one priority for us,” said WKU Police Chief Mitchell Walker.

The goal of the change is to allow students and officers the ability to connect and build trust.

“They’ll get a chance to see the human side of us and we’ll get a chance to talk with the students and see kind of what they’re going through as students as well,” said Walker.

Most students are supportive of the community policing policy but others wonder if it will really make a difference.

“I’m not sure what good it’s going to do because I see what they’re going for but there still that distrust, and so even if they come in and say ‘hi’ and try to talk to people, I don’t feel like people are going to be open to that facilitation right off the bat,” student Nicole Owens said.

 “A lot of people have social anxiety so it’s like ‘oh I don’t know if I should go to the police. I’m not going to that person,’ whereas if you have an officer that you know, they can be like ‘hey, I know this guy let me call him out real quick,’” said student Brandon Bersuder.

 “I think it’s a very good idea especially if they’ll be there at all times. It’ll make me feel a little more comfortable knowing that they’re just here to do their job,” said student Jalen Dochee.

One officer is assigned to two or three residence halls each.

As always, anyone can call 270-745-2548 or press the button on the emergency blue light poles on campus for an emergency on campus.