Troy University’s NAACP group recently partnered with the University Police and Pike County to inform students of their rights and become acquainted with campus police officers.
The “Know Your Rights” seminar included speeches from Troy Campus Detective James Taylor and Pike County Attorney Ashley Mallory.
TROY NAACP President Michaela Thompson scheduled the seminar so students could form a better relationship with campus officers.
“The goal of the seminar was to bridge community gaps and to create an understanding between police officers and the community,” Thompson said. “We want to make it a safe place not only on campus, but for when we go off campus, too.”
One of Thompson’s main goals was for students to learn their rights.
“One thing I recommended we talk about is what to do when you get pulled over,” Thompson said. “I’m also affiliated with athletics and that’s one thing that officers come and do for TROY’s athletic programs.”
Detective James Taylor spoke to students about their rights during traffic stops, what an officer can or can’t ask for, and the proper procedures to take once pulled over.
Taylor also urged students to refrain from disorderly conduct and domestic incidents, two of the most common offenses across campus.
“We’re here to help you feel safe on campus,” Taylor said.
Mallory spoke briefly about the best time to call an attorney and the importance of knowing your Miranda rights.
“College students are going to be the future litigators and law enforcement,” Mallory said. “Although you’re in college to learn, you also need to realize that you have people looking up to you.
“You have people in your community that have never gone to college. When you go home, they’re going to see you as a point of resource to ask questions on how to interact with officers, because in their mind, you’re the most educated on the subject.”
Although Thompson couldn’t join the event, she’s looking forward to students having better communication with the officers on campus.
“I want people to take away a learning experience,” Thompson concluded. “A lot of people don’t know what to do when they are pulled over.
“Before I learned my rights and information, I was scared when I’d get pulled over. I want students and the community to have a relationship with police officers where they’re not fearful.”
This article was written by Amya Mitchell, a junior at Troy University.