The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Cookout with the Cops

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October 2, 2019 | Elyssa Gideon | reporter

“​Cookout with the Cops ​ is a South campus tradition and a great example of police and community engagement,” South Campus Student Activities Coordinator, Ana Contreras, said.

On Oct. 3 the TCCD Police Department will cook hamburgers and hotdogs for everyone
in attendance in hopes of improving the relationship they have with their community.

“The event was created as a way to improve relationships between police officers and
the community they serve,” Contreras said.  The first ​Cookout with the Cops ​ was held on April 8, 2015. According to SE Campus’ Captain Greg Bowen, it was started as a way to support their efforts to engage with the community in a positive way in a time when police-community relations were “strained throughout the nation.” “​We thought, what a better way for our officers to ‘serve’ our community,” Bowen said. “With members of our community seeing our officers out there cooking burgers and hotdogs and
‘serving’ people standing in line, it showed that our officers are just like everyone else.”

Captain Darren Clark, South Campus Police Commander, believes that anytime they
have a positive interaction with the community, it improves community relations.
“I love the opportunity to serve the students directly and to engage with them,” Clark
said. “I have had great conversations with students where I have been able to listen to their concerns and incorporate those in our future actions.”

Everyone is welcome to attend the event, which occurs annually on the first Thursday in
October, according to Clark. Starting at 11:00 a.m., this annual event will take place which includes discussion between the TCCD community and TCCD PD. It was a discussion at last year’s ​Cookout with the Cops ​ that led to “The Unity Summit” which was held in March 2019.

“The attendees then participated in a panel discussion with the District Attorney,
Assistant Chiefs from Arlington and Fort Worth PD, teachers, and community activists where concerns were shared and listened to,” Clark said. “This event was the catalyst for an upcoming series of events that will be announced at this year’s cookout.”

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