Riding in the back of a police patrol car is more comfortable than it looks.
The seat is plush, and even the nice glass window is somewhat aesthetically pleasing. Without handcuffs you might even call it cozy.
CSU students, staff and Fort Collins police officers as well as city officials combined forces Wednesday night to welcome students to the city and to inform students and neighbors of city regulations.
Groups of four or five members, many piled into patrol cars, spent the evening visiting CSU off-campus residences, fraternity and sorority houses and other neighborhoods populated with CSU students.
The groups passed out information booklets with phone numbers and resources as well as a welcome letter signed by Fort Collins Mayor Ray Martinez, CSU President Albert Yates, City Manager John Fischbach, Vice President of Student Affairs Linda Kuk and President of Associated Students of Colorado State University David Bower.
“We feel that with all the enforcement stuff we do, we should educate students first,” said Lt. Jerry Schiager, who helped to organize the event. The information packets contained tips on how to throw a great party without having an unwelcome visit from police and how to reduce chances of becoming a victim of crime.
Updates on local ordinances and contact information were also included.
While the main goal of the event was to educate students and city residents, Schiager said another component was to combine CSU students and city officials in a collaborative endeavor.
“I think we are successful in one real important way,” he said. “I think we’re showing that the university and the community are working together.”
Before teams went door-to-door, Martinez welcomed the volunteers and thanked them for their efforts to make the city safer and more accommodating for all residents, reminding participants of the evening’s goal.
“Hopefully this builds friendships,” he said.
During the neighborhood walk, Officer Todd Brubaker of Fort Collins Police Services reminded students the best way to combat out of control parties is to contact police.
“If you give us a call, we can come help get things under control, and you won’t get a ticket,” he told students.
Brubaker participated in the event last year and said he has noticed a difference in the way students respond to police officers. Most, he said, are receptive to the officers’ advice.
Ruthanne Kastner of CSU’s Neighborhood Resource Office said some changes would be made before next year’s door-to-door walk, including printing materials in Spanish.