WATCH: Police sergeant discusses building relationships on campus, keeping students safe

Alyssa Jones sat down with Sergeant Micah Pasquerall of Virginia Tech Police Department’s (VTPD) Residence Life Resource Officers Program (RLRO) to discuss campus safety and relationship-building with students.

Virginia Campus Reform Correspondent Alyssa Jones sat down with Sergeant Micah Pasquerall of Virginia Tech Police Department’s (VTPDResidence Life Resource Officers Program (RLRO) to discuss the importance of a positive social contract between campus police and communities.

“The goal of the RLRO program, if I can be overly simplistic, is to build relationships,” Pasquarell explains.

Despite anti-police rhetoric from groups such as Cops Off Campus and Black Lives Matter on college campuses, Pasquarell tells Campus Reform about police officers’ opportunities to partake in conversations and build relationships with students. 

VTPD offers self-defense classesStudent and Faculty Police Academies, a ‘Walking With a Cop“ program, as well as frequent events to meet students.

“Some of these students are coming to us and it’s not always a positive interaction at first, but they want to engage with us. They want to talk to us. Now we have more voices in the room,” Pasquarell says. “Frankly, we’re seeing more community engagement, so it gives us more opportunities to build those relationships… and that’s really valuable.”

“By being challenged, by hearing outside perspectives or other perspectives that maybe I hadn’t considered before or maybe we didn’t have to address those before, it’s helped me more appreciate- in some ways- our profession and just how adaptable our department is,” Pasquarell explains. “It’s kind of strengthened our program.”

“I would love it to be a situation where when people see the police on-campus, they feel safe,” he adds. 

Watch the full video above.

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