Public Safety hosts first fun day

By Sydni AndersonContributing writer

Students and Murray State police officers gathered in front of Carr Health Building, playing corn hole and eating hot dogs and hamburgers for the first Public Safety Fun Day last Friday.

Public Safety Fun Day is a demonstration of the Murray State Police Department’s appreciation of the community. This three-hour long affair featured food and games, as well as a challenge for students to walk in a straight line while wearing “drunk goggles” which simulated the impairment people face while intoxicated. Some students tested themselves aby attempting corn hole while sporting the goggles. John Morris, senior from Nashville, Tennessee, said his favorite part of the event was watching the students try the drunk goggles test.

“[The goggles] showed us how hard it is to function,” he said. “It will hopefully show people not to try and operate cars while under the influence,” Morris said. He described the event as fun, and eye-opening for students.

Police vehicles were parked near the sidewalk and free cookies and brownies were available for passing students. Murray State administration visited and even Dunker, Racers athletics’ mascot, showed up.

Jeff Gentry, assistant police chief for the Murray State Police, said about 850-900 students stopped by. Gentry said he couldn’t be happier with the turnout and said it was, “a way to give back.”

Public Safety Day had been an idea of Jeff Gentry’s for years and was turned into a reality when the new Murray State police chief, James Herring, told him to “run with it.” Planning took place a month ago and the idea turned into a reality with the support of the community. Local businesses and organizations, such as the University Store, Dining Services and the Student Government Association, contributed to the event to make it a success. Other sponsors included Kroger, Food Giant, Murray State Athletics, Student Affairs and Branding, Marketing and Communications.

“We had a lot of donations and couldn’t have done it without them,” Gentry said.

He said he wants to make it into an annual event and plans on expanding it and including more student involvement. This includes meeting with students and seeing what could be done to improve the event. Herring said to expect more activities and more food.

“The Murray State community has been very supportive of the Murray State Police Department,” Herring said. “This is our way of saying, ‘thank you.’”

Photos of the event can be found on TheNews.org.

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Photos by Kelli O’Toole/The News