This story was originally published in The Rotunda
Rather than put on a speech, the Farmville Police Department took a more laid back approach to get citizens talking about their concerns. On Thursday, the Farmville Police Department held their fourth “Coffee and Conversation” event at Uptown Coffee Café. The event allowed citizens to engage with the police in an informal and conversational setting. Special Operations Lieutenant William H. “Bill” Hogan explained that there are many problems that residents may have, but do not feel are worth a 911 call.
“They won’t call us. They think they’re bothering us, but they come here… and they say, ‘Hey, since I got you here, let me ask you something.’”
Representing the Farmville Police were Captain A.Q. “Andy” Ellington, Detective S.L. Entrekin and the department’s accreditation manager, Dale Dowdy.
Their jobs are certainly more risky than others, but as far actual harm goes, Farmville seems to be relatively safe.
Hogan commented, “Farmville, generally speaking, is pretty laid back. Nice town, as far as crime rate goes… It doesn’t matter where you go, you’re always going to have more serious things happen from time to time… But we don’t have too many god-awful occurrences around here.”
Hogan also added “We have the occasional shooting or stabbing, or something like that, but they’re very rare.”
Captain Elligton had some concerns in regards to crime specifically affecting college students. “On the female side, they’re more subjected to sexual assaults… they need to be more cautious, especially late at night after they’re drinking heavily.”
As far as the rest of the student body goes, he stated, “[they] could be the victim of any crime. You could be the victim of a burglary. You could be the victim of theft.”
Hogan explained that when students go away on various breaks (such as spring break, fall break, or Christmas break) the rate of theft often increases. During these time periods, “There’s an increased patrol of the areas that you live in, because you’re usually there,” according to Hogan. “In the past we’ve seen some break-ins and things like that…We’ve seen scams that are trying to scam people into making money for college loans… I don’t think crimes are more geared towards students, but I do see crimes that students are more susceptible targets for some things,” said Entrekin, “Because everybody’s got a laptop and a backpack, and it’s sitting right over there.”
The department has several events coming up including a blood drive on Friday, April 2.