The University of Kentucky Police Department is responsible for maintaining a safe and secure campus environment for the university community. While patrolling campus and enforcing laws is a large part of our duty as sworn police officers, we spend the majority of our time engaging with members of the community. Chief Joe Monroe values community service and strives on a daily basis to find new ways for our police department to be involved with and serve the community. Below is a list of community service events that the University of Kentucky Police Department participates in annually.
University of Kentucky FUSION
Each year, the University of Kentucky Police Department has a large group of officers volunteer as site advisors for UK FUSION. This event is the largest single day community service event in the state of Kentucky and is hosted by the Center for Community Outreach. UK Police officers and staff join teams of volunteers to approximately 70 locations that are located all over the city of Lexington. Volunteers complete a variety of tasks such as painting, picking up trash at site locations, serving meals to the hungry, and filing paperwork. This annual event gives officers the opportunity to positively engage with different organizations and businesses in Lexington, serve as mentors to UK students as well as interact with UK faculty and staff members.
The Lexington Polar Plunge for Special Olympics Kentucky event is new for the University of Kentucky Police Department as of 2017. Twenty officers joined the UKPD plunge team and helped raise a total of $2,311 for Special Olympics Kentucky. On the day of the event, officers each wore a super hero themed shirt along with colorful super hero capes.
Before the start of the Lexington Polar Plunge, officers staged two UKPD vehicles near the plunge pool and interacted with members of the public. A total of eleven officers participated in the plunge and were very grateful for the opportunity to serve Special Olympics.
Cops on Doughnut Shops
There are many Cops on Doughnut Shops events throughout the state of Kentucky that help raise donations for Special Olympics Kentucky. The University of Kentucky Police Department participate in the Cop on a Rooftop and Cops on Top events that is hosted by Krispy Kreme Doughnuts and Dunkin' Donuts in Lexington, Kentucky.
During this event, officers stand on the rooftop for greater visibility and collect donations from the drive through and main entrance to Krispy Kreme or Dunkin' Donuts. Throughout the day, officers have the opportunity to interact with customers, staff and individuals driving past the donut locations. When speaking with the public, officers are able to bring a greater awareness to the non-profit Special Olympics and discuss how important it is for them to raise money for those with intellectual disabilities.
Ronald McDonald House Halloween Pumpkins
Since 2014, The University of Kentucky Police Department has collected candy, coloring books, stickers, and small toys each Halloween to distribute to the patients and their families staying at the Ronald McDonald House. UK Security Officers and UK Police Officers purchase candy and treats so that children who are too sick to trick or treat can still receive Halloween cheer. Last year, UK Security officers collected and distributed 25 brightly colored candy-filled pumpkins to those in need. The remaining pumpkins were donated to the Children's Hospital. This annual event brings smiles to the children as well as the officers and is something The University of Kentucky Police Department looks forward to participating in year after year.
University of Kentucky Police officers participate in the Law Enforcement Torch Run Tip-A-Cop event once a year at Buffalo Wild Wings. Officers volunteer by helping Buffalo Wild Wing’s serving staff take care of their patrons for the night. Officers fill drinks, help with food delivery and interact with patrons throughout the evening collecting additional “tips” that help fund Special Olympic events. In 2017, we raised the highest amount of donations at the time for a Buffalo Wild Wings Tip-A-Cop event which was $2,201.
Tip-A-Cop is a lively and exciting event for the officers, restaurant staff and guests. This annual event gives the public a chance to interact with police officers in a relaxed and fun environment.
According to the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics Kentucky’s website, “These events annually raise more than $12,000 to support Special Olympics programs in Kentucky.”
Law Enforcement Torch Run
The final leg of the Law Enforcement Torch Run occurs each summer starting in Frankfort, Kentucky while ending in Richmond, Kentucky on the campus of Eastern Kentucky University. During this event, officers serve as Guardians of the Flame and carry the “Flame of Hope” which symbolize courage and diversity throughout the following cities of Kentucky, Frankfort, Georgetown, Lexington and Richmond for the Special Olympics State Summer Games. Law enforcement agencies throughout the state participate in this event and the University of Kentucky Police Department is one of the few agencies that volunteer at each of the listed locations.
The Lexington portion of the Law Enforcement Torch Run is hosted on the University of Kentucky Campus by the University of Kentucky Police Department. The Law Enforcement Torch Run organization works throughout the year hosting events and raising funds for Special Olympics, allowing officers the chance to interact with the community and Special Olympics athletes.