ORU Students Extend Olive Branch At Tulsa County Sheriff's Office

Thursday, October 13th 2016, 11:04 pm
By: News On 6

A local student is taking action to improve police and community relations - and her efforts are inspiring other millennials and police officers to make an extra effort.

Lauren Miller said she’s starting by extending an olive branch.

"Whether we realize it or not, we all have a part to play in what is happening," she said.

Miller is carrying out her senior project at ORU - collecting valuable insight to write a curriculum on how to improve the oftentimes contentious relationship between police and the communities they serve.

Tulsa County sheriff, Vic Regalado said, "It wasn't a planned event. They called us and said 'we'd like to come down and extend a simple thank you, and we support you.'"

Miller studied and collected data on how to best approach the issue.

She went around campus where students chose to write messages to the Tulsa County Sheriff's office. Some students joined her when she showed up to give the card to the sheriff's office.

"When you get to see a person like this, in the flesh, you kind of swell up with a sense of pride," one student said.

The students hope to show the world how to solve social problems and lay the groundwork for meaningful dialogue. 

"Sometimes, it's easy to forget that they're people too, and that they take incredible risks for us," a student said.

So, through Lauren's project, introductions were made, ideas were exchanged.

Student Shawn Madison said, "We're going to set aside our pride and our personal preferences to work together."

Life guidance was offered and a relationship was forged.

One sheriff deputy said, "Think for yourselves, and don't let others guide your thoughts and processes."

Miller said, "It gives me extreme hope. It gives me hope to know that people are awake."