Q: Are we as diverse as
we say we are?
Police Captain Quenton Q Trice covers a range
of duties in his post, from crime prevention talks to routine
patrols at special events to speaking at student forums on
issues such as spotlighting the notion of paying disproportionate
attention to minorities in a group setting.
By Anne Bromley
Quenton Trice, a U.Va.
police officer for 21 years, is fondly known for his friendly,
easy-going manner. Simply Q to many who know him,
he is a calm presence on his patrols, at special events and in
even more difficult situations, such as the community meetings
following racially biased events this past year. Both humility
and strength play into his character.
just a country boy from Fluvanna and now here I am a police
captain, he said. When theres a football game,
Im responsible for the safety of thousands of people. Its
important to me to provide a positive service to the community.
credits his grandparents with instilling in him the values of
how to treat people fairly and with giving him the support to
find a successful path in life.
in rank over the years, Trice was promoted to Deputy Chief of
Security and Special Events last year. His duties range from crime
prevention talks to routine patrols at special events to speaking
at student forums on issues such as spotlighting the notion
of paying disproportionate attention to minorities in a group
of Students Penny Rue said, If you know Q
you know he has a powerful presence. As one of the senior leaders
in public safety, he has worked on many issues with the students.
He was especially generous in helping the community in healing
after racially biased incidents last spring.
has helped bridge understanding between student groups of color
and law enforcement, Rue said.
said, Law enforcement has taught me more than I ever realized
about race, so I see things as they really are. He and his
fellow black officers noticed over time that the number of black
people on the force five out of about 50 remained
static and almost quota-like. (Today, the staff is larger because
it includes the security departments of the Grounds and the Health
System, and comprises 52 white males, 20 black males, 23 white
females, 12 black females and one Asian female.)
patrol, hes run into situations where he and another officer
approach a group of people, and they assume the white officer
is the one in charge, when actually hes the supervisor on
call. But he knows when to roll with it, he said,
and he knows the importance of keeping calm. Even if I have
to arrest somebody, I do it with dignity and respect.
calm demeanor doesnt mean he accepts the status quo. To
him, the rhetoric and reality of diversity dont match right
now. Since he became director of security and attended more upper-level
meetings, he noted, I dont see many people who look
We have to consider this: Are we really as diverse
as we say we are?
appointments of African Americans to leadership posts Craig
Littlepage as athletics director and his boss, Paul Norris, as
police chief certainly signal a forward direction, he said,
but much more needs to be done to give minorities compelling reasons
to take jobs at U.Va. and stay in the Charlottesville area.
laments the lack of social opportunities for African Americans
in Charlottesville. When potential faculty, administrators and
students are courted on Grounds, we show them the pretties
of U.Va., but what do black folk do after they come here?
living in this area all his life, he has had to seek more African-American
culture by going to Richmond for shopping and entertainment, he
Trice stresses that hes never been treated poorly in the
workplace, but Im not going to say thats been
the case for everyone.
said he wonders how often others in the University community step
outside their comfort zones. The work environment might
be integrated, and people say they have friends there, but do
they spend time with them outside of work? Political correctness
keeps people from seeking a deeper understanding of race and gender,
because theyre afraid of offending someone, he said.
one way to turn things around, he urges members of the U.Va. community
to take more time with each other: Every opportunity an
individual of a different race gets to interact with another,
be honest and ask the hard questions. Dont sugar-coat it.
teen-age daughter is not afraid to talk a hard line
and ask her white friends, Why do white people do such and
such? he said. We need to have deep-rooted conversation
to reason together and understand each other. Lets be honest
not only in words, paying lip service, but so that it gets to