Student goes for a ride with KCPD

Photo by Tory Van Blarcum / The Flare. KCPD officer Sammy Wagner has been with the force since November.
Photo by Tory Van Blarcum / The Flare.
KCPD officer Sammy Wagner has been with the force since November.

Recently at 5 p.m. I went on a ride along with KCPD officer Sammy Wagner. Wagner came to KC from Trinity Valley Community College last November.

“It’s not just about arresting students,” Wagner said as he explained why he does what he does. He said the officers are there for the protection of the students.

During the patrol, Wagner said he drives with the windows down.

“If someone calls for help outside, how can you hear if the windows are up?” Wagner asked.

After we left the station, Wagner went to the physical plant. There he checked to see if the front and side gates were locked. This area houses equipment such as carts, trailers and work trucks that the college owns.

We then proceeded down the street to the college’s storage building. This is where the trucks for the Commercial Driving License course are stored.

After checking to make sure the trucks were there and intact, we returned to the Administration Building. We went through the building and checked a few rooms, turned off some lights and locked up. We worked our way over to the Kilgore softball fields. Wagner did not get out of the truck but just checked the area.

The Devall Student Center was our next stop. We went to the cafeteria. Wagner was very laid back as he observed the students.

The fitness center was our next priority. Here, Wagner looked around at the students and commuters.

We walked around to the normally busy carpeted gym but at the time it was quiet. Wagner’s next stop was the Woodruff Adult Education Center.

At the Woodruff center, Wagner was very relaxed and spoke to the women who were at the desk. We walked around the building and even took a peep inside at the sculpting class that was in session.

After making sure the Woodruff center was secure, Wagner went to women’s residence, Nolan Hall. Wagner pointed out it is best to call the house mother before showing up unannounced to eliminate any potential problems.

After talking with the house mother, we made our way back to the police station.

Here Wagner showed how officers use the computers to input police reports, the software that allows them to share information about students, for example, if they have criminal trespassing records, and the evidence locker.

On foot patrol we went back to the cafeteria. Again he was just looking around, comfortably watching and speaking to the students.

Our last stop was the fitness center. On the way we ran into some unknown people skateboarding on the sidewalk.

When asked to identify themselves, they turned out to not be KC students. Officer Wagner could have chosen to have these two men cited with criminal trespassing charges.

Wagner let the young men go with just a verbal waning. This allows him to gain the respect of these two and at the same time make his point clear he said.

The ride along was very informative and taught me quite a bit about police work. Wagner and Chief Heath Cariker encourages those who are interested to contact him or Chief Cariker at 903-983-8656 or email ccariker@kilgore.edu.