Meet and greet with police

Caitlyn Lear, News editor

On April 26, Mercyhurst University will be hosting the Pennsylvania State Police for a “Come Get to Know Us” day. The event will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the lower level of the CAE building and the parking lot next to it. The event is also open to the public and has no entrance fee.

“The event is being designed as a ‘meet and greet,’” said Maria Garase, Ph.D., chair of the Criminology and Criminal Justice Department. “The event will house the following units: SWAT, Bomb Squad, Aviation, Patrol, Forensics, Criminal Investigations, Canine, Clandestine Mobile Lab Unit and Liquor Control.”

This will be the first year that the event will take place on a college campus. The state police have done similar events on a smaller scale at their barracks.

“The purpose of the event is for students and community members to have a better understanding of the role of the PSP (Pennsylvania State Police) and, if any are interested, how they can apply for the PSP,” said Garase. “Additionally, high school students and community members will also have an opportunity to speak to Mercyhurst Admissions counselors and faculty about criminal justice and justice related programs offered at Mercyhurst.”

The idea for the event came about back in November 2016 when Tyree Blocker, Commissioner of the Pennsylvania State Police, came to campus from Harrisburg with some of his recruitment team to discuss academic initiatives for 21st century policing.

“Only 14 universities in the Commonwealth will be holding Pennsylvania State Police ‘Come Get to Know Us’ events. We are the only university in Northwest PA to hold this type of event,” Garase said.

The police will be bringing various vehicles and performing various live demonstrations. A helicopter will also be present.

“There will be a Pennsylvania State Police helicopter landing on the lawn, northwest of the CAE building.

The only thing that would preclude the helicopter landing is if there is an emergency where the helicopter is in use or in route to an emergency or if there is inclement weather,” Garase said.