#HumanityCenteredSaturday: Officer Friendly wants entire community to work together toward a better future

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KENOSHA ⸺ Everyone knows of Officer Friendly in Kenosha, although many forget about the human behind the Kenosha Police Department uniform. 

The new Officer Friendly in town, Tyler Cochran, does a great job trying to engage the community. 

For as long as Cochran can remember, he has wanted to be an active member in his community. 

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KPD Officer Friendly Tyler Cochran

“It was important for me to give back to a community that I grew up in,” Cochran says about living in Kenosha.

Working with children another passion

Another huge passion of his is working with children ⸺  whether it be in middle schools, his police explorer programs or through the Safety Center.

Cochran knows that the children are the future of our communities and enjoys taking part in their learning process. 

When off-duty officers are in the schools, Cochran expresses that it is not always for a bad reason. 

“We’re not just here for things that are bad,” he said. “We’re here to help.” 

As Officer Friendly, he said, he represents only a little bit of all the good many other officers do. 

Whether it be on their own time, or during their shift, officers are trying to do positive things for their community, he added.

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Struggles shedding positive light on department

Though there are positive things within the department, many outside of it have focused on the negative over the last year. 

As a result, Cochran has had a hard time shedding a positive light on officers in the community.

“Now more than ever law enforcement is under this microscope of everything we do is looked at, which is fine, but we have to make sure we are thinking everything through,” he said.

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Trust much-need between everyone in community

To break these barriers, Cochran believes that people need to take a step back and refrain from jumping to conclusions. He also believes that trust is a two-way street, and is much needed in the community

“If we don’t work at everything together ⸺ community and police officers together ⸺ it’s difficult for us to function as a community,”

Cochran urges the community to have open conversations with officers in Kenosha. They are more than a badge and a uniform; they are humans just like the people they serve, he said. 

“Have that open conversation; we’re all humans,” Cochran said.

“Just because we wear a uniform and a badge, we’re no different than anyone else.”

This story will be updated with video from the Observer’s interview with Cochran later.


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