Disrespect by campus police

Danny Grisanzio, Assistant News Editor

Police officers have one of the toughest jobs on the planet. Day in and day out, they are protecting citizens from potential dangers. While Whitewater police officers risk their lives to keep the town safe, some students, including me, feel as if there is a lack of respect to those attending the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. I have had many experiences where I feel I was treated with disrespect, despite following direct orders from the officers as well as not breaking any laws.

A friend of mine suffered a seizure in her dorm while asleep. Her roommate called 911, which brought a policeman as well as two EMTs who treated her immediately. My friend informed the EMTs that this was her second seizure, which is a clear indicator of an epilepsy diagnosis. The police officer who was there approached her shortly after receiving treatment and bombarded her with questions. He asked if she had been under the influence of either drugs or alcohol. She informed him that she most likely had epilepsy due to this being her second seizure. He continued asking if she had any alcohol or drugs in her system despite knowing that this was most likely caused by epilepsy. He then proceeded to ask her for a urine sample, mind you, this was almost immediately after being treated for a seizure. He continued interrogating her until eventually giving up after she insisted she had not consumed drugs or alcohol and that this unfortunate event was caused by epilepsy. He then called her the next day and asked if she would, yet again, give a urine sample. She refused and had to get a note from the doctor who treated her with a statement regarding her current situation, which obviously had the fact that she was an epileptic written on it.

Another instance of disrespect was when a friend of mine’s property was damaged in a complete miscommunication by the police officers. The police officers were under the impression that my friend had stolen a vehicle, which turned out to be his own. In the early hours of the morning, they pounded on the door of his dorm room and eventually kicked hard enough to leave residual damage to the wood of the door. He was questioned and eventually the issue was resolved. Once the chaos ended, the police officers left his dorm room without apologizing for the misunderstanding, nor addressing the property damage they had caused to his room.

These are just a couple of the disrespectful situations I have been involved in or a friend has informed me of. This is not a personal attack on any officer or attack on the Whitewater Police Department, nor do I have a vendetta against police in general. I have the utmost respect for every one of those men and women who do their job in order for me to feel safe. However, just because some students choose to break the law or campus regulations, doesn’t mean the student body as a whole can be generalized as criminals. Whether or not students are actually being mistreated or some of the negative stories are being misconstrued, there is an obvious distrust between University of Wisconsin-Whitewater students and the campus police officers.

Danny Grisanzio

Assistant News Editor