ISEC pairs with local law enforcement in Arrest the Fear event series

Tim Gray, an officer with the WKU Police Department, stands masked at the colonnade after the drive through ceremony that honored the graduates of the WKU Department of Communication graduates on May 16.

Gabrielle Bunton

WKU’s Intercultural Student Engagement Center joins forces with local law enforcement and the campus police department to educate students on the workings of police.

With recent racial tensions between African Americans and police departments, ISEC launched the Arrest the Fear Series that will include a multitude of events to help educate students about police, build relationships with them, advocate properly and learn self-defense skills.

The first event on Oct. 28 was a Kickoff Panel which placed students in small groups and gave them the opportunity to learn about the daily life of police.

Bowling Green Police Chief Michael Delaney said they were trying to think of ways to build bridges and create a relationship with students on campus.

“We know over the past few months there has been a lot of civil unrest throughout the country, but we believe we have a better police department, a better sheriff’s department and a better campus police department in Bowling Green,” Delaney said.

Delaney said their main goal is to be transparent and let the students know the behind the scenes and what we have to offer them.

Delaney said his relationship with Dr. Martha Sales, executive director of ISEC, had also helped him reach more students and show students more than what is being seen on social media and television.

“We wanted to collaborate and figure out how to tackle the issue together and for the most part show the students something different,” Delaney said.

Ultimately, Delaney said he would like for students to see all the components and steps that go into becoming a police officer as well as teach them not to be afraid of the police department.

“I want to be able to arrest the fear, so they’re not afraid of the police,” Delaney said. “They have a better understanding of what we do and we have a better understanding of what their fears are.“

Second year graduate assistant Courtney Hurst was the leader behind the series.

Hurst said that the majority of ISEC’s population comes from Louisville. With her also being a Louisville native, students have strong opinions on what has occurred over the past several months.

“It’s a bad environment overall for our students, so we decided let’s come up with something that for our students so they can build a relationship with law enforcement down here in Bowling Green, so they don’t have the same fears they do back home,” Hurst said.

Hurst was inspired by her part-time job at the Housing Authority in Bowling Green. They have a program with women in law enforcement called Power G, where young girls get connected with women in the police field.

Overall, Hurst said she would like for students to learn one thing or have a changed mindset when it comes to law enforcement.

“A lot of students have negative connotations about police officers. I want students to think ‘Hey, they are not that bad. They are actually good people.’” Hurst said. “Hopefully they can spread that to their families and friends and encourage others to not think so negatively of law enforcement.”

The events will continue on until November 18. The next event titled Art, Poetry and Justice will be on Oct. 29 and will let students relax and be able to break away from the on-going topic of social justice.

More information about on going events can be found at on their website

Gabrielle Bunton can be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @gabriellebunton.