TUPD hosts National Night Out to raise safety awareness

The Trinity University Police Department held its annual National Night Out event Tuesday night outside of the Bell Center. Free food and drinks, an information table and a live band were all part of this crime awareness event.

National Night Out is a nationwide event where community members join together to prevent crime in their neighborhoods. The goal of NNO is for people to become more familiar with members of their immediate community so that suspicious people or unusual activity are noticed. Most neighborhoods have block parties that are very similar to Trinity’s NNO event to get to know their neighbors.

“We have our Night Out the same night the city of San Antonio does. The San Antonio Police Department patrols different neighborhoods and neighbors get to know one another. We keep ours on campus,” said Sylvia Villarreal, telecommunications operator for TUPD. “Safety is what TUPD is here for, and we have this event every year to show that.”

One thing that makes Trinity’s Night Out so special is the live band that performs every year. The group is comprised of a mixture of students, police officers and members of facilities services, including crime prevention officer Paul Morales and sergeant Charlie Lopez.

“Both of those guys are members of our Community Awareness and Resource Team, which is basically the crime prevention division here on campus,” said Paul Chapa, chief of police.

There was also an information table to help students stay safe both on and off campus.

“The info table had some interesting pamphlets about binge drinking and drinking and driving, which both had some information I did not know in them,” said Jackie Sime, a junior engineering major. “I also saw where TUPD’s goal is to help us students work, learn and live. That is what we need as students, you know?”

Chapa pointed out that the police department’s events have bigger turnouts not only every year, but with every event as well.

“[With these events] we engage the students and want them to know that we are more than just police officers. [These events] give us a chance to interact with students in a different way than officers normally would,” Chapa said.

This was the last in a series of events TUPD hosted to promote campus safety and awareness. Their next event will be Alcohol Awareness Week, which will take place the week before spring break.

Chapa is excited by the success of TUPD’s events.

“The police department’s motto is ‘proactive, progressive, professional.’ These events on campus are what that means,” Chapa said.

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John Mendiola is the Web Master and an Arts & Entertainment Reporter for the Trinitonian. He is a senior computer science and communication major from Houston, Texas (though originally Manila, Philippines). This is his 4th year working for the newspaper.