WUPO getting involved on campus

Brenden Williams

Washburn University Police are getting involved with students on campus through multiple different ways. WUPO, the Washburn University Police Office, as it’s commonly called, is headed by director Dean Forster, who has recently been giving presentations regarding campus safety during an active shooter situation. He and his fellow officers have been getting involved with students all year, teaching about campus safety and the changing laws regarding conceal and carry.

The most recent law change was that of the Personal and Family Protection Act of 2012, which gave students the right to carry firearms on campus, as long as they are concealed, come 2017.

While director Forster has been meeting with student organizations, Captian Chris Enos has been meeting with WU 101 classes as well.

“That’s just one part of an overall educational program and outreach that we do,” said Enos. “Another thing that we do pretty consistently is visit with WU 101 classes. Faculty that are teaching those courses invite us to come and present and we present on overall campus safety, active shooter, sexual assault, alcohol and drug awareness, a lot of topics we fit into that hour. [We] usually get about an hour to visit with each class, which is a great opportunity to visit with new students. So we try to cram as much information as we can about the department and throw some campus safety tips in there.”

Captain Enos and other officers have been getting involved with more than just WU 101 classes.

“We try to get to as many new student orientations in the summer, we try and visit with them and their parents,” Enos said. “We have a host of other programs we do, we have an instructor that instructs on personal safety and self defense. He will go and present to different student organizations and groups that ask him to come and visit, I know he has been to at least one or two of the sororities here on campus. Part of it is meeting with [students]. Another group I meet with or get requests to meet with are students that are working on class projects that might be involved with campus safety. They’ll come and ask me for input, and I meet with them on a pretty regular basis.”

Alex Lasher, freshman business major and WSGA senate member, was present for Police Director Forster’s active shooter presentation that was given to WSGA.

“I think I feel more connected to WUPO,” said Lasher. “I appreciate that they’re coming around to student organizations to talk to students about both active shooter training and coming and talking about what’s changing on campus with the conceal and carry stuff. I think it’s really great that they’re doing that.”

Captain Enos said he would like students to attend WUPO’s programs.

“If you have a chance to go to one of our programs, please do so,” said Enos. “That’s our message from the police officers because it could be something that could be helpful someday.”