Plano East Senior Builds Student-Police Relationships
Motivated to show her support to police officers after the July 2016 police shooting, which resulted in the killing of five officers and injuring of nine others (7 officers, 2 civilians), PESH senior Alyssa Aguilar organized "Coffee with a Cop". The first gathering was held last year on November 18th, and the second one was held May 26, 2017. Upon hearing that officers from Parker, Plano, Murphy, Richardson and Dallas law enforcement agencies would be attending this year's event, Aguilar said, "...I nearly cried because I was filled with joy, just to honor all these strong individuals who risk their lives every day, to keep our cities safe." Plano East teachers, staff and students also attended the event.
The goal of the event was to continue an effort to connect students and the police in a positive environment. Aguilar states that her career prep teacher, Mr. Duncan, tasked them with creating a project that involves the community. Aguilar said, "I truly created this event due to the incident that sadly occurred on July 7th, 2016. In Dallas...We stand together. It doesn't matter who you are. We stand as one. We all have one life to live. Life is such a precious thing, and to lose it, is just a horrible thing, especially if you put your life on the line every day to keep us safe. When I watched the breaking news that night, I put myself in their loved ones shoes. I cried because all I could think about is that these people risk their lives and they have families that they love. Just to find out that their loved ones would never see or hear their voice again broke my heart."
Alyssa Aguilar and Sergeant John Paul
Captain Kenneth Price and Alyssa Aguilar
She takes comfort that the work she and her fellow career prep students put into bringing these groups together make a difference when she references words Captain Price, Parker PD, said to her, "It is these types of events that make a difference all around the world, and we greatly appreciate the hard work and determination that went into this project to bridge our students and law enforcement communities together. Thank you for all that you do, it is truly rare to find such amazing qualities that you and the other possess."