Program connects students with law enforcement to build resident hall safety



By Kamla Jones

If you see a police officer in your dorm building, don’t always assume the worst. The officer may just be hanging out.

The Adopt-a-Cop program began in the 1980s and aims to bring the UK police officers closer to students in a positive way.  The program assigns a police officer to each residence hall and that officer provides campus safety programs for residents, UKPD’s website said.

UK Police Captain Kevin Franklin said the program is believed to be modeled after a similar program at Florida State University.  Over the years, officers found that having a cop on every corner or in every dorm brings the crime numbers down.

“We want them to hang out in the dorm, and want students to be able to put a face with a name,” Franklin said.

Twelve officers are assigned two buildings each. All dorm buildings are included.

Adopt-a-Cop is used to break down the misconception and to help students, not hurt them, Crime Prevention Officer Bob Pearl said.

“We want students to see a personality behind a badge, and not just a badge,” Pearl said.

With this program, UKPD builds a bond with students, resident advisers and hall directors, Pearl said.

The officers enjoy the program and meeting new people, Crime Prevention Officer Alan Saylor said.

“We love working with them for the most part and they are great people,” he said.

The officers love to be involved with the dorm and the students on a personal level to ensure the safety of the students, Saylor said.  UKPD wants students to feel comfortable around the officers so they can come and talk to them about any problems.

Residents and resident advisers at Holmes Hall love their building’s officer.

“(Our officer) is a cool guy,” Holmes Hall Resident Adviser Justin Palmer said. “He gave us the down low on the Tolly Ho fight.”