Cocoa with a Cop: Connecting the MU community


Photo by Isabel Bonebrake

“Cocoa With a cop” is a spinoff of “Coffee With a cop.”

Last week, one may have seen two mounted police officers riding their horses around campus before riding across the grass outside the Alumni Memorial Union. MUPD officers were waiting with hot cocoa and Christmas treats on picnic tables last Wednesday. While people drank hot cocoa and ate treats, they were able to pet the horses and ask the police officers questions about their job.

“I think this event was very comforting, especially during finals. It was a good rush of serotonin while we’re all struggling,” Maggie Franz, a first-year in the College of Communication, said.

With finals approaching, MUPD wanted to put a spin on their Monthly Coffee With a Cop event. Usually, MUPD has an event each month to foster a relationship between MUPD officers and Marquette students and staff. This month they included two of the Milwaukee Mounted Police Unit’s horses to achieve the stress relieving aspect of the event while students are preparing for finals.

Zach Brugnara, a first-year in the College of Arts & Sciences, said, “Not being from Milwaukee, it was really cool getting to learn more about what the city does to keep students safe when they aren’t on campus.”

The horses were originally purchased to direct traffic at major intersections in Milwaukee in the early 1900s before they were replaced by motor vehicles. They reintroduced the unit to the Milwaukee area in 1999, and it’s been operating since.

The unit is used for special events with large crowds, patrols in the Third Ward and Downtown Milwaukee, and crowd management.

MUPD officers were also able to learn about the Mounted Patrol unit, and Lieutenant James Hensley even took a picture on one of the horses.

Students and staff might see Hensley and his dog Blue walking around campus. Blue was introduced to Marquette last May, and he’s been the face of MUPD ever since. Blue is often at university events with his owner and attends “Coffee With a Cop” once a month for students to come hang out with MUPD.

Blue was supposed to attend this months event alongside the horses, but he got scared of the horses, and had to be taken home.

Brugnara said he attended “Coffee With a Cop” earlier this semester, and he really liked the addition of the horses this month. He said seeing the horses made him excited to see what MUPD does for these events in the future. 

The changes to this event gave students and staff the chance to talk to Milwaukee Police officers in addition to the MUPD police officers they’re used to seeing.

Hensley said the event was organized to create a way for students and staff to talk to police officers. The horses were included to hopefully draw more people in. 

“I just want everyone to see the officers as people, not just badges and uniforms,” Hensley said. 

 This story was written by Sophia Tiedge. She can be reached at [email protected]