The Sam Houston State University Police Department will host the second annual Kats Safety Bash, formerly known as Bearkats Fight the Night, today from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the North Stadium parking lot. Officer Jeffery Butterworth is excited for the change and the chance to reach out to the community.
Similar to National Night Out, the Kats Safety Bash gives the community the opportunity to meet the local law enforcement, become involved in crime prevention activities, and send the message of a cohesive neighborhood.
“If you’re not aware, September is National Campus Safety Month,” Butterworth said. “[The university] wants us to talk about alcohol, domestic violence, sexual assault, and fire safety. What we’ve done is combine it all into one event to where the participants can go around and talk to the different law enforcement.”
The Kats Safety Bash will have a wide variety of events taking place such as DWI simulators provided by Texas A&M Agro, a fire extinguisher demonstration done by the local fire department, and the Texas Department of Safety is bringing a rollover vehicle to demonstrate seatbelt safety.
Moms Against Drunk Driving and the local SAAFE House will both be present to discuss the consequences of drunk driving and domestic violence.
“There will be demonstrations of traffic stops, discussions of how you should react in a traffic stop, and there is even a possibility of letting students conduct the traffic stops to see some of the hazards that officers often face,” Butterworth said.
Krysta’s Karing Angels is bringing speakers who have been directly impacted by drunk drivers, many of whom are the innocent victims who have lost family members.
The Kats Safety Bash has a purpose not only to educate citizens, but also to build trust within the local law enforcement. “Obviously there are some things that happen on and off campus that may have a negative impact on law enforcement. However, since I’ve been here, we’ve always had a positive impact with what we do”, Butterworth said.
“We did Cocoa with the Po-Po last winter, and Free Hugs earlier this semester. It has nothing to do with safety, but it’s letting people know that we are people and we have lives, but we also care about what goes on here at Sam. We want people to not be afraid of cops.”
One goal of The Kats Safety Bash is to provide students with a sense of security.
“We want them to come to us if they’re ever afraid or need help, and events like this one help establish that sense of trust and camaraderie between the community and their local law enforcement,” replied Butterworth.
The Walker country Special Response Team, the Huntsville Police Department, the SHSU Alcohol and Drug Abuse Initiative, and the regional SWAT team will be on scene, along with several tactical vehicles including the Bearcat.
Kroger, Potato Shack, and Subway will be providing food, coupons, and free giveaways to participants of the Safety Bash.
This event is open to the public of all ages and there is no cost for admission.
This event is an open door to meet and greet the local law enforcement, and SHSU highly encourages students to join them in this night of free food, numerous simulations, emotional speakers, and fun giveaways.