Editorial: Students need to appreciate local police’s efforts


Police car

Editorial Board

College can at times be a scary place for young adults. Due to the the culture of alcohol and binge drinking or the high rate of sexual assault on campus, students sometimes have to rely more on campus police for help than anyone would like.

And while we hope nobody has to call the campus police, ISU students are fortunate to have the ISU Police Department around to help. Through social media and its outreach events, ISU Police has shown it truly understands the young adults it serves and makes an effort to help them feel safe.

When it comes to having run-ins with the police, most people, especially college students, view it as a bad thing. When a minor gets a ticket for underage drinking at a tailgate or a party gets busted — even when your best buddy gets pulled over for drunk driving — it is always the police officer who is the bad guy.

It is not the police who are the bad ones. The police are the people we should be able to trust, not the people we feel we have to fear. The police are not targeting students to get them in trouble — there are far too many students on this campus to do that — they are looking for people who are a potential danger to themselves or to someone else. 

We should be grateful for the good that the Ames Police Department and ISU Police do to protect us students. When we see police while out on Welch, we should not feel like we have to avoid them, which relates back to the culture that surrounds college students and police officers.

The media, the culture we grow up in and our parents telling us to watch out and not get arrested have led us to fear the police rather than trust them. We grow up fearing the police and thinking that they are the reason we are getting in trouble, when in all reality it is ourselves who are breaking the law. If students stopped fearing the police and instead tried to create a better bond to ensure a safer environment for everyone, things could run a lot smoother. 

The connection between local police and ISU students should not be a one-way street, but the only people that seem to be working to better the relationship are the officers.

ISU Police and Ames Police are both known for their use of light-hearted social media. Both departments tend to strike a balance between important information like roads closures and funny tweets that connect with their audience. For example, on Oct. 23 an Ames officer saved a turtle in the road. 

But the departments’ connection with students doesn’t end after the tweet is sent. Both departments host countless outreach events like attending sorority meetings to explain how to stay safe and out of trouble during parties or its Doughnuts with the Cops event, which raises awareness about alcohol and discusses safety on campus.

ISU students are fortunate to have police departments in our community that understand students. They make an effort to connect with students and show there is nothing to fear. In return, students need to thank their local law enforcement for their efforts and help during their time living in the Ames and Iowa State community.