MANHATTAN, Kan. (WIBW) -- Riley County Police Officer Rachel Pate makes a presence in the Manhattan community not just as a police officer, she also coaches the Women at K-State Rugby Team.
Officer Pate's assignment is Aggieville, where she keeps a watchful eye on the diverse population.
“Obviously we have a different population, we have students, we also have Fort Riley, so we have the soldiers and then just the locals that live here in town.”
The three-year member of RCPD has been assigned to those streets since January of 2017.
"We have a lot of people who are drunk and they come up and they appreciate us and they tell us how great of a job we are doing and shake our hands. That's always really nice to see," Pate said. "And then, obviously, the fights and things like that. I've been in more fights than I ever thought I would be.”
Pate is a graduate of Kansas State and is no stranger to big events in Manhattan.
“There is such a large population that comes to town, there is people from out of state even that come for Fake Patty's Day. (For) the ball drop, Aggieville is completely packed. There is barricades that we have to watch (and) it adds definitely a larger element," Pate said. "You've got to handle each thing as it comes to you. Get that situation handled and move on to the next and at the end of the night you’re probably going to be typing for a few hours, but it’s fun. It’s fun to get out in the community and see everybody enjoying themselves and be there to make sure everybody is doing it safely.”
In the field of law, Officer Pate takes care of the Manhattan community. On the field at Memorial Stadium, she is head coach of the Women at K-State Rugby Team who is ranked #1 in their conference.
“I think that being a police officer has really helped me, in the fact of finding my voice. I can definitely control the team," Pate said. "It's 25 college girls who I'm coaching, so you know it can get a little out of hand, and making sure that we're getting all the things done we need to."
Pate played college rugby at K-State herself, and hopes the experience prepares her players the way it prepared her.
"Our core values are a lot the same," Pate said. "Leadership, that's one of the core values we have here at RCPD when working with my fellow officers, but also teaching my players that. The teamwork and cooperation, the reliability and just all of those things really kind of go hand and hand with each other.”
Pate coached her team to an undefeated conference record this season and they are hoping to make it to National's for back-to-back years this coming Spring.