The Adopt-A-Hall Program, an initiative of the University Police Department in conjunction with Residence Life, ensures campus safety while allowing students to become familiar with those who serve and protect the Buffalo State College community.
UPD officers are assigned to first-year-student residence halls (currently Neumann, Perry, and Porter) not only to secure and protect students in their living environments but also to open avenues of friendly communication. The program allows campus law enforcement officers to learn about student needs and concerns, provide information and establish a familiar presence, and build rapport with students.
Adopt-a-Hall was an informal effort initiated by two UPD officers about six years ago, and it remains a non-mandatory program for officers to become more ingrained in the campus community. The program was designed to foster friendly interactions, both formal and informal, between UPD and students in order to dispel misconceptions and stigmas surrounding community attitudes toward law enforcement.
“We’ve had the program as voluntary for the officers because we wanted people to want to do this,” said Lieutenant Richard Myers. “For a new officer, it’s a great opportunity for them to get to know the campus and the staff.”
Myers said Adopt-a-Hall serves not only to comply with the college’s community policing philosophy but also to aid in relationship-building between officers and students.
“For the students who are spending time in the lounges or who are walking through the halls, I think they regularly see our officers, so it does make a difference,” he said. “I have seen people relate to our officers outside of the buildings at different things, and of course, I’m sure that happens more than what I see.”
Each UPD officer who “adopts” a residence hall is also in communication with the complex directors, resident directors, and resident assistants of the specified hall.
Myers said he hopes new students will become familiar and comfortable enough with officers to come to them in an emergency or for added security.
“These are students who are going to be here for the next four years,” Myers said. “Hopefully those students will have somebody that they know and they can relate to over the course of those years.”