RLRO Radio: Community policing one Monday at a time

Blacksburg, Va., April 24 – Officer Arkeif Robinson cues up his next track during the Monday broadcast of the RLRO Nation radio show. Photo: Ashley Cimino

by Ashley Cimino —

RLRO (pronounced rolo) Nation is the group of three Virginia Tech Police Department officers that are designated as Residence Life Resource Officers. Officers Arkeif Robinson, John Tarter, and Kenny Ball come together every Monday from 2 to 3:30 p.m. to host a radio show on WUVT FM, Virginia Tech’s student-run radio station.

The purpose of this weekly radio show is to connect with the community that they serve. On the show, the officers highlight special programs that the RLROs host or attend. Popular events from the semester include Relay for Life, Friday wallyball games in War Memorial Gym, and the RLRO Fried Bologna and Cheese Night.

Each Monday, several guests, often times people who work in residence life at Virginia Tech or other VTPD officers, fill the small WUVT studio. The RLROs host small interviews with the guests and include them in the typical layout of their show, like having them read sections of a prepared script.

“I catch the show every Monday while I’m working. I’m glad that it’s on WUVT because I would never have found it normally, or even thought I’d be interested in it really,” said Katie Pierce, a junior at Virginia Tech.

The officers started the show back in 2013 and haven’t missed a semester since, and they’ve built a following. While it’s a common joke on the show that only 20 people are listening in, the RLRO Nation Facebook page has over 1,000 likes.

“I never would’ve imagined that a show by cops exists on WUVT, but it does. It just goes to show how much WUVT sticks to their ‘radio for everyone’ motto and I know the RLROs are a good part of the WUVT community,” said a current DJ at the station.

Some listeners and community members wonder why the Virginia Tech Police Department would dedicate officers specifically to the on-campus residents as resource officers, and the answer is simple. According to Bureau of Justice Assistance, community policing is a way for the community and law enforcement to engage in a trusting, mutually beneficial relationship that can be used to solve problems within the community. For the RLROs, WUVT is just one way that they can reach the people they are aiming to help.

You can listen to RLRO Radio every Monday from 2 to 3 p.m.  from anywhere at www.wuvt.vt.edu/listenlive or locally at 90.7 on your radio dial.

RLRO Radio from Ashley Cimino on Vimeo.

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