When thinking of police and law enforcement, people typically think of someone who is there at the worst times of their lives. Someone who has to break the bad news or get them in trouble for something they did.
This causes people to shy away from police officers and not want to talk to them until it is truly necessary. However, Springfield College does not see their officers in this light.
Officer Fredric Almeida is one of the courageous members of the Springfield College police force.
Almeida continued to say how great all the police officers at Springfield College really are. How even the Sergeants are “willing to go out of their way to make you a better officer.”
He talked about all the positive interactions he has had as a child with police officers, which is the reason he decided to become one.
Almeida had made up his mind as early as elementary school that being a police officer was the job for him.
Being raised in Hartford, which isn’t always the safest area, police officers always made sure to make him feel safe and he can recall good memories associated with police.
Officer Almeida is now trying to pass on those good experiences that were given to him. He attempts to do this by having positive interactions with both the people and the college students around him on campus.
“Police already have a bad stigma,” Almeida said. “Even if it’s one interaction at a time, one person at a time. People should see the good in officers”.
The campus police protect students and try to keep them out of trouble. Even if a student does something wrong, the police officers try and help the students out, not just “lock them up,” according to Almeida.
For an example, if on a Saturday night an individual were to get kicked out of the townhouses, Springfield College officers would much rather have them write an apology letter and be banned from going to the townhouses again, rather than an alternative scenario that puts the student in a worse position moving forward.
People really shouldn’t be fearful or turned off by these police officers. Officer Almeida talked about how one officer can ruin it for everyone, but in reality, most police officers really are good people and have good intentions in their minds and hearts.
“If one cop messes up, everyone gets a bad reputation,” he said.
The officers are just looking out to keep Springfield College safe. On top of everything he does around campus to protect students, Almeida also likes to go snowboarding and golf.
In addition to that, he is still active in the Marine Corps. He was deployed for one year and just returned back this past November.
Almeida, like his fellow officers, always has the interest of the student’s safety in his mind above all else.
Photo Courtesy Frederic Almeida