We had 11 questions for Officer Ryan Snow in our ongoing series to get up close and personal with Division of Public Safety employees:
How long have you worked for UIPD?
What is one thing that makes you different?
I have my Drug Recognition Expert Certification. There are only approximately 50 officers in the state of Illinois that holds that certification and I am the only one in Champaign County.
What is something you’d like to see changed on campus or in the community?
I would like to see the community reach out more and invite conversations with police officers. Sometimes officers are hesitant to enter into community groups or events because of perceptions of police. However, when invitations from the public are received, most officers are more than happy to be involved. One of the main reasons for the job is interaction with the community and it is nice to know they want us around.
Where is your favorite place to eat in Champaign-Urbana?
Either Hickory River in Urbana or Meatheads in Champaign.
What’s one of your funniest or fondest memories as a UIPD officer?
My favorite memory as a UIPD officer was actually also one of the worst. In 2013, I was severely injured while at a training event. I was stuck in the hospital for about two weeks recovering after surgery and it felt like I would never get out. However, every single day of my stay in the hospital, no less than two officers stopped by to spend time with me. They told me stories from patrol and brought me magazines to read so I didn't get bored. One officer even brought me a Blizzard from Dairy Queen after I text him I was craving ice cream. Even after leaving the hospital, two officers offered to help me with my rehabilitation so I didn't have to do it alone. The bond and brotherhood in law enforcement is something I will never take for granted.
If given the chance, who would you choose to be for a day?
My wife. I would be able to see how my words and actions change the view she has of me. I want to show her how much I love and appreciate her but I know I don't do or say enough good things every day to truly show her that.
What is your motto in life?
Kaizen. It is a Japanese word similar to the English word "improvement.” In Japanese businesses they use the term for continuous improvement on all levels and involves all employees. I apply it by trying to improve some aspect of my life every single day and also encouraging and helping others to improve something they are doing.
You have once and a lifetime front-row tickets and a backstage pass to meet a recording artist.. who would it be?
If money doesn’t grow on trees, why do banks have branches?
Um, I'm just a cop. I can't solve the mysteries of the world.
If a fork were made of gold, would it still be considered silverware?
If forks were made of gold, I would only be able to afford eating with spoons.
What’s something you would like to tell students?
You are the only one that can take responsibility for your actions. Far too often, I hear students blame police for getting a ticket. I did not influence your decision to drink underage or speed. I am doing a job and typically, if people take immediate responsibility for what they did wrong, they leave with a warning. Also, lock up your property!