BGSU Police Department

BGSU police compete against students in Together We Ball

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Kickball will be the game when the BGSU Police join with communities of color in the September edition of Together We Ball. The game will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 21 in the Perry Field House. Spectators are invited to attend and cheer on the teams, enjoy the music provided by D.J. Silk and win BGSU swag. Together We Ball was launched by the BGSU Office of Multicultural Affairs in partnership with the Campus Police Division in 2016 as a friendly basketball tournament designed to build a bridge between communities of color and local law enforcement. The success of those events prompted the expansion of the program this year to include kickball, which will provide more interaction between the groups and extend an opportunity to include those who don’t play basketball, said Sheila Brown, interim director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs. Additional partners for the event include BGSU Recreation and Wellness, Bowling Green city police, Coke and student organizations. Guests with disabilities are requested to indicate if they need special services, assistance or appropriate modifications to fully participate in this event by contacting Accessibility Services at access@bgsu.edu or 419-372-8495 before the event.


Cups of coffee and conversations with cops in BG

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Food and beverages bring people together. It’s no different for local police and the public who occasionally meet in the city over cups of coffee, scoops of ice cream and slices of pizza. As patrons came in and got their coffee at Biggby Wednesday morning, they had a chance to share concerns with local police officers. “We’ve had a few discussions about things,” Bowling Green Police Chief Tony Hetrick said as he stood holding his first cup of coffee for the day. “Parking is a hot topic.” It didn’t really matter that the police have nothing to do with the rules – other than enforcing them. What mattered was the townspeople and police were talking. “It’s about interaction with the public,” BG Police Lt. Dan Mancuso said. “People can discuss concerns in a more comfortable environment than calling the police department.” That’s exactly what Bowling Green City Council member Bill Herald wants to see in the police division. “We want to have a police force where people don’t hesitate to call,” Herald said as he talked with Lt. Brad Biller, who was on his third cup of caffeine for the day. “This is what we want in a police department.” The police division holds a “coffee with cops” once or twice a year. The division also held an “ice cream with cops” event at the library last year for younger community members. At Biggby Coffee on Wednesday were five city officers and four Bowling Green State University officers. “We partner all the time on different things,” Hetrick said about the teamwork between the two police departments. “Anytime we have an opportunity to meet the public and have an honest conversation, that’s important,” BGSU Police Chief Mike Campbell said. “We continue to look for those opportunities.” Last week, the campus police gave away about 200 slices of pizza to students in the BGSU union. Herald inquired Wednesday morning about the number of citizens who had mentioned police officers’ fondness for doughnuts. “But the stereotype is true,” Hetrick said with a smile. “I guess that makes it a fact.” Ann Rieman and Kristen Strum came in for coffee – not knowing about the opportunity to share a cup with city cops. Both said they appreciated the effort the police division makes to be a friendly face in local schools. “I know they have had a presence in the schools a lot. We appreciate that,” Strum said. That friendly interaction helps pave the way to good relationships between youth and police later, Rieman said. “They aren’t nervous when they see police officers.”


Police officials address issues of force, race & more during “Real Cops” panel

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The police in Bowling Green, either city or campus, don’t have to resort to using physical force very often. Bowling Green Police Chief Tony Hetrick said that in 90,000 interactions, officers on the BG force have used force 52 times, and BGSU Police Chief Monica Moll said her department’s experience was similar. Rodney Fleming, the managing attorney at Student Legal Services, said that if citizens looked at the statistics, they’d see how little physical force is used. Capt. Mike Campbell, who will be interim chief when Moll leaves BGSU at the end of the month, said that in looking at police conflicts that have been in the news, he sees faulty tactics in how the incidents were approached. More emphasis should be put on de-escalating a situation, and better communication, he said. They were part of the “It’s Just Us: Real Talk with Real Cops,” held Friday at Bowling Green State University, and sponsored by Not In Our Town. No matter how little force is used, all incidents are reported and looked at. “Even if it was a legal use of force,” Moll said, “maybe we could have used less.” Hetrick said each instance is looked at by more than one supervisor, including himself. “Nothing is going to be swept under the rug.” And, if citizens feel they have been unfairly treated, each department has a formal complaint process. If someone doesn’t trust the police to follow through, they can complain to other entities, Fleming said – city officials, his office, or Not In Our Town. Hetrick said those complaints will be taken seriously. “As police chief I want to know that’s going on.” The interactions between police and citizens are often tinged with distrust. Moll talked about the importance of following officers’ instructions. Citizens may know they are not a threat but the officer doesn’t. “There’s a lot of anxiety on both sides,” she said. “What I’m seeing is you have folks who have traditionally adversarial relationships with police and are going to be automatically nervous when police approach, and when police approach they may interpret that as something else that’s wrong.” Often tensions ease over the course of a stop, she said. Ana Brown of resident life, who moderated the discussion, noted that “for a lot of us who are people of color, we don’t see that we necessarily get that time that white people do in a traffic stop.” Law enforcement is trying to address this with training on implicit bias. Police are required, Hetrick said, to undergo such training, to help recognize attitudes that may interfere with performing their duties. The state started mandating this training two years ago. The point, he said, “is to make sure we are in fact treating everyone fairly when we are out enforcing the law, that we are not letting these…


State police chiefs spotlight BGSU department’s outreach to community

From OHIO ASSOCIATION FOR CHIEFS OF POLICE Connecting with the community on a deeper level with community policing programs is a difficult challenge for many local law enforcement agencies, but the Bowling Green State University (BGSU) Police Department faces an especially unique challenge – their constituency is always changing. Chief Monica Moll was recently interviewed while over 19,800 students were just beginning classes for the 2016-2017 school year. As Chief Moll pointed out, “it is a continuous effort to reconnect with the students.” Of the over 6,300 students living on campus, almost half of them are new to the BGSU community and they bring their own perceptions of police with them — good or bad. How does the BGSU Police Department seek to connect with students? Through continuous outreach efforts that focus on those groups that may be most likely to have experienced discrimination or have a distrust of police officers. BGSU has embraced and been very successful in their outreach efforts through the program “Not in Our Town.” “Not in Our Town” is a national program launched in 1995 with the mission “to guide, support and inspire people and communities to work together to stop hate and build safe, inclusive environments for all.” Four years ago Bowling Green was struggling with how to confront acts of racism and hatred on campus and in the community. City and university leaders joined together and adopted the “Notin Our Town” program. However, the initiative is not merely a one-size fits all template – each community develops its own program recognizing that real change and success will only take root on a local level. The effort took off in Bowling Green. More than 12 community organizations and over 50,000 individual pledges were behind the effort. In June 2016, Bowling Green was recognized by Not in Our Town with a National Award for enhancing the quality of life in the community and on campus. Chief Monica Moll is quick to point out that the “Not in Our Town” initiative is a “joint effort requiring collaboration between the community, the University, the City of Bowling Green’s Police Division, and the BGSU Police Department”. To support the movement on campus, the BGSU Police Department is active in sponsoring community forums, connecting with minority communities, participating in “Coffee with a Cop” events, and hosting forums on campus called “Real Talk with Real Cops.”  (See story http://bgindependentmedia.org/real-talk-with-real-cops-for-bg-community/) They have also co-sponsored a basketball tournament with minority students and local law enforcement officers called “Together We Ball.” The key is to connect with students and change their perception of police, and to encourage both police officers and community members to treat all views and people of all backgrounds with respect. As Chief Moll stated, the “Not in Our Town” initiative successfully ties city and university policing together. “Students don’t typically look at the car…