Campus police looks to break down barriers between students

citizen police academy (march 2013 photo)Aaron Berkowitz – General Assignment Reporter 

Campus police’s own, Chief Joseph Dooley said slots are filling up fast for the university’s third year of the Citizen Police Academy, so he is encouraging people to sign up as soon as possible if they are interested in gaining insight as to what their job entails.

“We are very excited to be doing another 7-week session because we have found that some people think we just drink coffee and eat donuts,” said Dooley. “In actuality there’s a lot of method to doing what we do on a daily basis.”

The 7-week course begins on Feb. 25 and will consist of two-hour classes that will cover a range of topics such as Patrol Division procedures, Detective Division investigations and evidence collection, weapons, search and seizure, drug investigations, DUI, traffic enforcement, Connecticut laws and much more.

Each class will run from 4:45 p.m. until 6:45 p.m. and will include snacks for all of the participants to enjoy.

Dooley said as much as the people who sign up for the academy benefit from the experience, the officers involved gain just as much.

“This program is designed to create more of a bond between the police force and campus,” said Dooley. “It also helps us have more eyes and ears around campus to partner with us. I’m not going to say that Police are perfect, but I am proud of this department and the work they do. When I see our efforts to interact more with students I know we are doing something right.”

Lieutenant Richard Randall is a presenter each year at the academy and said he specializes in explaining the history of police. Randall said this academy is an opportunity for anyone interested to gain an understanding of why police take certain actions out in the field.

“If you don’t have a good relationship with the police department than you have a bad relationship,” said Randall. “A lot of people come in with the mindset that they can just put on the uniform and do our job, but when they come to the class you’d be surprised at how many people say ‘I don’t want to do that or I don’t want to do this,’ and the job isn’t actually for them.”

Randall said the course is really a “two way street” in that he gains new perspectives on things that the force could improve on or change.

“I listen to some of the things that the students have said and realize that the conversations that occur are more valuable than anything we could simply tell them. Each year we incorporate what we learned from the last class so that the next one will be better off.”

Dooley also said one thing he likes to make clear to the people who enroll in the course, is their goal is to not only reduce crime on campus, but show them how it can be prevented altogether.

“I always say that even one crime is too many, but with the help of our campus I know that our work can continue to improve,” said Dooley.

Lieutenant Richard Randall is a presenter each year at the academy and said he specializes in explaining the history

“We’ve never had a person leave after the course ends and graduation is over and say ‘I haven’t learned anything,’ and a year hasn’t gone by where I didn’t learn something as well,” said Dooley.

Photo Credit: Derek Torrellas


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