Ohio University Police Department creates Poker Chip Challenge to encourage more positive interactions between police and the community
The Ohio University Police Department (OUPD) has created the Poker Chip Challenge, a community engagement initiative to encourage more positive interactions between the police and the community. The challenge complements other community engagement initiatives, such as the BBQ on the Bricks, Stroll Patrol and Coffee with a Cop that help improve the police department’s relationships with community members.
“We are continually trying to find ways to encourage people to get to know the police officers working in their community,” said OUPD Lt. Tim Ryan.
To complete the Poker Chip Challenge, community members must collect a chip from every officer by just asking for one, whether that’s when they’re out around town, or by stopping into the station. A complete list of OUPD officers is available on their website (ohio.edu/police/staff). Each officer has their own chip with their name and badge number on it. Once they have collected a complete set of chips, community members can bring them to the OUPD station located in Scott Quad and receive a free display case for them.
There have already been dozens of poker chips given out, with freshman Quentin Kurtz being the first to collect them all.
“I got interested in the challenge with my friends when we were hanging out and saw the Twitter post from OUPD,” Kurtz said. “As soon as I saw the post, I knew I wanted to collect them all! I just had a blast with my friends while doing it. We had such good laughs and conversations with all the officers – they’re incredible people and this challenge is just another way to allow the community to meet them on a personal level. There were just so many positives to keep finding the chips I couldn’t stop.”
Kurtz added that to acquire all the poker chips, he would go to the police station everyday and just say hello to the officers and ask for their chips. He would also walk around, enjoying the town and find any parked police cruisers and ask for chips from them.