The event was held Wednesday morning at the Brown-Lupton University Union Amphitheater and gave students an opportunity to stop, grab some coffee or donuts and talk with TCU police officers.
Hannah Saffle, a senior economics major who is the political director for TCU College Republicans and the chair of the Back the Blue campaign, said she thinks students see anti-law enforcement attitudes on the news and social media and are susceptible to having these opinions themselves.
“I’ve just noticed as a student that a lot of my peers that are anti-cop have never met one,” Saffle said. “And so I think that just by meeting one or having a relationship with one changes your view completely, because then you actually get to know them as a person.”
The Back the Blue campaign has two more events planned for the school year: a small circle discussion with TCU police that will be held after Thanksgiving Break and before final exams and a larger fundraiser event in the spring with TCU police, Fort Worth police and Tarrant County sheriffs.
Saffle said while TCU College Republicans are having the campaign, they don’t want it to necessarily be political, and instead think it is important for people to know it is students and their generation making these efforts for positive relationships.
Officer Eric Abilez, who has been with TCU police for seven years, said this event is an opportunity to meet and talk to the students on a personal level, instead of on a call or during an investigation.
“I think it’s pretty important to have this contact between the officers and students,” Abilez said. He said it was a chance for students to ask one-on-one questions that specifically apply to them.
Saffle said she was hoping students would come by and thank the officers for their services and make an effort to get to know them.
“They’re humans, too, you know,” she said. “And they have rules that they have to follow and they’re doing their job every single day and what they’re doing is sacrificing for us. And so I’m tired of people thinking otherwise and it’s time that we try and get others to see the truth.”