Richland campus police officer, Jesica Lopez invited students and faculty to come speak with her about police work over coffee at the annual Coffee with a Cop event on Feb. 19. The coffee was free. So was the conversation. This was her second year hosting the event as a way for campus police to meet with and serve their community.
Lopez was there to get to know students, faculty and staff and find out what was on their minds.
“Just like concerns. If anyone has questions or concerns about what we do, what we can do better,” she said.
Most of the questions she was asked were about tickets issued outside campus or police point of view of cases covered by the media.
“Usually, I say that I wasn’t there so I can’t really comment about some cases that happen,” She said. “So unless we’re there, we don’t know what we what we would do in the situation.
Lopez has worked with the RCPD since 2014. She said she enjoyed her job in law enforcement after working 17 years in Human Resources at BSN Sports, 7-Eleven and an earlier stint at Richland.
“I did it all [employee relations, benefits] for several corporations. I liked it, but I was just ready for a change,” Lopez said.
Richland campus police do more than what students think they do, according to Lopez.
“We’re very pro-active. That’s why you don’t see a lot of stuff,” she said. “We know the neighborhood surrounding us, so our job is to keep that [any potential danger] from here because we are public. People come and go.”
Lopez said that she didn’t become a police officer to put away criminals.
“For me if I could change a person, then I feel that I’ve accomplished something,” she said. “And that’s just me because I know that everyone goes through things. We all go through things in life. So I try to bring out the human side of our job,” she said.