Dear Campus Police,

Times are tough.

Times are tough for you. I get it. I’ve been there. I used to be a campus police officer and have been called a ‘glorified mall cop,’ ‘rent-a-cop,’ ‘security,’ and ‘not the real police.’ Tensions between students, community members and the police are at an all-time high. Quite frankly, it can get old.

I want to send some hope your way.

Out there on your very own campus there is a group of people who are working together to make your job and your life much easier. They want to lower your stress! They have looked at the data time and time again. Done focus groups, student surveys, community surveys, and hours of analysis. Based on the information they have collected, they have identified key problems to address that will make your life easier. They have built their capacity to address those problems. They have worked to mobilize local resources, readiness, improve the systems and increase their knowledge to address these problems.

All this work they have done will directly benefit you out on patrol. It’s some great stuff.

Their data analysis has identified a list of risk factors that make these problems more likely. On the flip side, they have also identified protective factors that will help lessen the likelihood of these problems. Here’s where it gets awesome. These folks have drafted a plan to work on these factors and problems. They have done years and years of research to know what strategies work and which ones don’t work. Some brilliant work and you definitely want them on your team.

They have laid out a strategic plan for implementing these strategies and even built relationships with key stakeholders both on campus and off campus. That’s right, they have built their team even stronger to help make your life easier. Does it get any better than that?

It does get better. They developed measures to make sure their work is effective. They will evaluate the process and the outcomes of their strategies. If it isn’t making your work easier, then they will adjust.

Keep in mind, they have followed the data and tailored their strategies specifically for your students and your community to make your job easier.

Are you ready to connect with this dream team that is behind the scenes working to make your job easier?

It’s the alcohol and other drug prevention specialists. Think about how many of your calls for service are alcohol or drug related. Wouldn’t it be nice if the students didn’t misuse alcohol or drugs?

On your campus they may be called the Health and Wellness Office, work in Housing, Student Conduct, Health Education/Promotion, or even have their very own coalition.  Their titles may vary from campus to campus, but they are out there working to make your jobs easier.

Your mission: Find these individuals and introduce yourself to them. You can always use another ally and may find some new ways to work together.