EWU police promote campus safety through events

By Sam Jackson, Reporter

The EWU Police Department will offer programs and events to create awareness about crime prevention and safety throughout the year.

Lorraine Hill has served as sergeant for 16 out of the 25 years she has been with the department. Hill believes that committing to community outreach is about keeping everyone safe.

According to data collected between September  2017 and June 2018, the department hosted 104 events. The total number of people reached by these events was 16,513.

All together, the department dedicated 161.25 hours to outreach within the community.

“We have increased those numbers drastically just in this first month of school,” Hill said.

To stay as proactive as possible, the department researches what crimes or common problems are happening on campus. The university police then address those issues by creating educational presentations on topics such as drug and alcohol abuse, self defense and theft prevention.

Hill describes the self-defense classes as, “probably the most popular event we do.” The department schedules the classes, and usually works with housing. Each one of the resident halls normally hosts one class a quarter.

As part of the department’s contribution to safety and community involvement, a K-9 facility officer named Hilani was added to the team two years ago. Hilani often attends the programs and events that the department hosts.

EWU was the first university in the United States to have a K-9 facility officer. Hilani’s handler is police officer Tiffinni Archie. As a companion dog, Hilani’s job is to comfort victims of assault or anyone who has gone through trauma.

“We are really getting more into the community and really figuring out what her uses are,” Hill said. “We do have students that really get sad or depressed … and we can plug officer Archie and Hilani to them.”

By planning outreach programs and offering support to the community, Hill is proud of the level of commitment the department has for the students and faculty on campus.

“Police outreach is important because it can reach out to the younger generation and allow them to know that they do care about us,” EWU senior Anthony Picard said.

For more information on the police department’s community outreach efforts go to the EWU Police Department webpage on the EWU website. To inquire about presentations or receive support from Hilani, the K-9 companion, call the department at 509-359-7676 or  visit directly at the Red Barn on campus.