Friday, November 4, 2016

The mysterious story of “IT” arriving in Marshall, Texas and the Cool Cops that brought “It” to you… By Ricardo Munoz.

For weeks the Marshall Police Department’s Police Chief Jesus Eddie Campa had been teasing of a surprise that would becoming to Marshall, Texas.  The date for the unveiling was set for Aug 24, 2016 at the City in the Park Back to School Cook Out.  For weeks cryptic video messages appeared on the MPD's and Chief’s Campa’s Facebook page.  The community of Marshall did not know what to expect as there had been a lot of speculation and mystery surrounding what exactly was coming to the city.  The only hint we had was that “It” was coming.  We have included several of the cryptic messages to this story.   

In speaking to Chief Jesus Eddie Campa I found a leader that truly understands the concept of community policing and is not scared to embrace it as his primary policing strategy.  Many law enforcement agencies talk about community policing and claim to have an understanding of community policing, but don't believe in it.  In order for a police agency to have a successful community policing program it must be understood and accepted by the head of the agency and the officers of the agency.

It has been a great privilege to see Chief Campa and the officers of the MPD change the culture of the City of Marshall with it's aggressive approach and forward thinking about community policing.  The feeling in the air in Marshall has changed so much in the past two years, you can see a massive change and it's all due to the change of policing strategies.  The community has come together in support of the new direction that the city is taking and it was all due to the proactive approach of the police department.    

 Finally the big day arrived and Chief Campa unveiled “It”.  It turned out to be the latest community policing tool the Marshall Police Department had added to its arsenal of community trust building initiatives.   "IT" turned out to be an ice cream truck and no longer would be referred to as It. The Cool Cops Ice Cream truck had arrived to Marshall.  The Marshall Police Department converted their old SWAT vehicle into an ice cream truck.  They partnered up with a local graphic company who donated the new graphics to outfit the Cool Cops Ice Cream Truck.  Chief Campa was able to secure Blue Bell Ice Cream as the official sponsor of the Cool Cops.

Cool Cops was established to build relationships with today's youth.  Chief Campa told me that his plan was to show the children that just because they see lights and sirens does not mean that something bad is going to happen.  It can just be the Cool Cops bringing Ice Cream to a neighborhood, school. special event, or to the park.  Today when society is turning it's back on police everywhere it is important to start showing and educating the children that the police are the good guys and are here to help.  Cool Cops seems like a great way to build those relationships and reshape the way our youth look at the police.   

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