January 28, 2015

UCPD, Students Meet on Basketball Court

As part of the University of Chicago Police Department’s commitment to community engagement and outreach, members of the UCPD traded their uniforms for sneakers and T-shirts to play a friendly but competitive basketball game against several UChicago students.

The UCPD squad took on the team of students in front of approximately 50 spectators who cheered on both teams from the bleachers at the Ratner Athletics Center. The UCPD won the close game 59-53.

The idea for the basketball game came about when the UCPD’s former Deputy Chief Kevin Booker reached out to student government representatives about building stronger ties between the UCPD and UChicago students. Booker left the University earlier in January to become the Chief of Police at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

“The UCPD is committed to building community partnerships and fostering relationships, especially with students,” said Gloria S. Graham, Assistant Chief of Police. “This game is just one way for the officers and students to see each other out of their typical roles and get to know one another.”

Community Relations Officer Tawrence Walton, who helped facilitate the game and played as well, said there’s interest from both students and officers to make this an annual event. He added that it could be another basketball game or another sport, depending on interest.

“There was great camaraderie on both sides; you sensed it afterwards,” Walton said. “It was fun to have the opportunity to do something like this outside of the normal workday for officers and students, and it was just great, friendly competition.”