APD, OUPD, and Athens County Sheriff’s office have worked hard toward creating better relationships with the people they protect

In Athens County, the Ohio University Police Department, the Athens Police Department and the Athens County Sheriff’s Office are making strides toward opening communication and creating relationships with the citizens they protect.

One example is the Joint Police Advisory Committee barbeque that was held last fall. The three police forces joined together to serve students and community members burgers and hot dogs with a side of kindness.

The event, which was held on Park Place outside of Baker University Center, attracted hundreds of people. APD and OUPD police chiefs Tom Pyle and Andrew Powers, respectively, both were involved in the event and interacted with community members all night.

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“We want to reach out to the community to make sure they know that everyone has a voice with us and that we are fostering amicable relationships,” Pyle said.

Another community outreach event was “Coffee with a Cop,” which was held in The Front Room Coffeehouse, located on the fourth floor of Baker.

About 20 officers from APD and OUPD made an appearance, as well as OUPD’s bomb-sniffing dog Brody.

“We wanted to hold this event (to) make sure that our community members know that the lines of communication are always open,” said OUPD Lieutenant Eric Hoskinson.

The event gave students and other people from the area the chance to come out and make some conversation over free coffee and cookies.

Just like the barbeque, police officers from all the departments made themselves available to the public, welcoming questions, concerns and suggestions.

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Along with both events, APD and OUPD have created ride-along programs for the public to partake in. Two Post reporters went on a ride-along earlier this past year, getting to spend the night with an OUPD police officer as he patrolled the the streets of Athens.

Police officers in Athens County have made it their goal to break down the barriers and to ultimately try to strengthen those bonds with the people they protect.

“This is really about having an informal opportunity for our community and our officers to get together and chat and to get to know each other as people and not just as us and them,” Powers said.

@mcuds

mc835713@ohio.edu

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