Hoping to better relationships with students, Longwood University Police Department (LUPD) hosted an Easter egg hunt on Thursday, April 18 in front of Lankford Student Union.
According to Chief of Police Col. Bob Beach, LUPD first came up with the idea to host new events for the students after they felt there was a loss of respect over a lack of communication regarding an incident that occurred at Longwood Village in January.
On Jan. 27, LUPD was notified of a man with a gun in the Village and campus was not notified until over 24 hours later. The incident led to a Town Hall held by the Student Government Association (SGA) on Feb. 13 where students voiced their concerns to administration on the delay of communication.
Beach added losing the students’ faith was hard on the staff.
“It grieved us that we had lost a certain level of trust and respect,” said Beach.
The idea of an easter egg hunt came after the department set up a meeting to discuss events they could do in order to regain the trust of the students.
Prior to the event, seniors were invited to register and participate in a raffle where they could potentially win a free cap and gown or a frame for a diploma.
According to Officer Garry Hardy, who hosted the hunt, it only took about a week to plan the entire event. He added the whole LUPD staff played a pivotal role in its success.
“The whole staff pitched in to help create the event. None of the money came out of our budget, it all came from the staff,” said Hardy.
Over 500 eggs were hidden and another 500 were handed out until they were gone. Prizes included gift cards to various local restaurants such as Macado's, Buffalo Wild Wings and Charley's Waterfront Cafe, Longwood apparel, candy and a $100 bill from a “golden egg”.
Once all of the eggs were found, students were directed towards the prize table where they would receive their prizes according to what they found in their egg. A raffle rounded out the event before students were encouraged to go to class or stay to meet more of the department.
Officer Hardy said he hopes to do more in the future and added that the event was a success.
“Be on the lookout for an event each month next semester," said Hardy.