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Criminal Justice Club shows appreciation to local law enforcement

The+Criminal+Justice+Club+delivered+cakes+to+local+police+departments.
The Criminal Justice Club delivered cakes to local police departments.

The Criminal Justice Club delivered cakes to local police departments.

Photo by Courtesy of Pittsburgh Police | Submitted

Photo by Courtesy of Pittsburgh Police | Submitted

The Criminal Justice Club delivered cakes to local police departments.

Written By Kayla Snyder, Co-Copy Desk Chief

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Last year, members of the Criminal Justice Club started an initiative to deliver cakes to different police zones around Pittsburgh to show their appreciation for law enforcement officials.

This year, the newfound tradition scales more than just the Pittsburgh police zones, adding Point Park’s police department as well.

The Criminal Justice Club presented a cake to the Point Park Police this year but intends to do a much larger event in the spring, according to club advisor Sean Elliot Martin.

“We did have a conversation asking how we could extend the event to Point Park because we felt it was something we should also do,” Carlin Diachun, a senior criminal justice studies major and president of the club, said. “It’s important that the city guys get recognition, but it’s important that we carry that over to the guys closest to us.”

The main focus of the Criminal Justice Club stems from three tiers: career development, networking and public service.

Recently, the public service tier has morphed into focusing on police appreciation. To show their appreciation, the criminal justice club hand-delivers cakes designed specifically for the six police zones.

“We wanted it to be something simple so that it wasn’t too grandiose for future members and future leaders of the club to repeat,” said Justin Stocklas, a junior criminal justice studies major and vice president of the club. “We wanted it to be something [the police] actually enjoyed, and everyone likes cake.”

Since the start of the event last year, the Criminal Justice Club has delivered six cakes to the respective police zones around campus and one to the Point Park Police Department.

“A cake is celebratory,” Martin said. “It’s associated with birthdays, special occasions, congratulations and thanks. They can be decorated and we settled on the American flag with the blue line across it, representing police officers.”

Diachun recalls Martin saying, “It’s easy to say you appreciate the police, but it’s not so easy to show something or you doing something to appreciate them. You can easily say you support them, but what have you done?”

According to Diachun, Martin was the driving force to actually purchase the cakes and deliver them.

The club only services the Pittsburgh Police Department and the Point Park Police Department because of logistical reasons, according to Diachun.

“For our purpose, as a starting point for this tradition, we said let’s start with the patrol guys, because they’re first in line,” Diachun said.

This event was not created because of any recent political debate surrounding police officers, as the club does not focus on politics.

“At this point last year, we were in the heat of the political debate of what is policing and what are the cases of brutality and policy issues,” Diachun said. “We don’t want our club to be focused on politics… We don’t, as a club, take a stance on those. It became important to us that we make this event not focused on that.”

Martin said a lot of officers lost their morale within the last couple of years, so it was necessary to appreciate them in some kind of way.

“Anytime something goes badly, everybody knows about it,” Martin said. “Every time an officer does something questionable, it’s all over the news. We don’t hear about the countless times about officers who are doing the right thing.”

The club, consisting of 15-20 members, takes at least five members to each zone. Deliveries occur near holidays to the six zones. The first one took place last November to Zone 1, which experiences the most crime. The next Cakes for Cops event will take place at Zone 2 this Saturday, Nov. 18.

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