Today: Jun 16, 2024

University Police connects with community

Sheldon GarganoContributor

Southern’s campus police and New Haven police (NHPD) have different titles but still hold those same values and standards while trying to be a part of communities in which they are protecting and serving. 

Having a conversation with a few officers at Southern they were able to express how they have a good relationship with the NHPD and are always willing to help one another when in need of extra assistance in relation to an event or problem. 

“Our chief and the chief of New Haven have a really good relationship,” said Lt. Richard Anderson.  

Disturbances at the university do happen with students or external factors and throughout the city. Police know they need to have great communication in order to make sure problems get figured out.  

Depending on the situation campus police and city police usually deal with disturbances differently depending on the proximity of the problem.  

“If there is anything on campus we handle the issue and New Haven doesn’t really get called for anything here unless we need them,” Anderson said. “Any accidents that occur on the streets New Haven Police usually handle it, anything that is in the parking lots we handle.”  

The training that happens for police officers doesn’t differ from one another whatever the position police officers are put in or choose to go. There are different academies throughout Connecticut that are available for new police officers to go to. 

  “New police officers like to attend New Haven academy but most officers prefer to go to the state academy which is located up in Meriden which is the same as the mandatory academies,” said Anderson. 

This is something that works for the police force and so there is proper training for the safety of the public and the police officers trying to keep us all safe. 

 “A person who is to become a police officer in Connecticut must first attend a Basic Training Program at either the Connecticut Police Academy or at a Council-approved Academy,” according to CT.gov.  

“Six (6) departments in the state periodically conduct basic training programs at their academies under oversight of the POST (these are called satellite academies). The majority (90%) of police recruits go through POST’s program at the Connecticut Police Academy in Meriden, Connecticut.” 

Although working in different organizations, police don’t do many things differently when it comes to training and trying to prepare for scenarios. They want to cooperate as much as they can so they can be on top of any situation or problem that arises.  

Which leads into how most situations if not all can be approached the same way by campus police and New Haven police. Knowing how to communicate with people gives police the advantage because the demeanor of the police has to try and stay positive and try to be that source of help so it can have a better outcome.  

Although people don’t always react the same, the police are there for the safety of students and the general public. Campus police are no different trying to enforce those same laws.  

“I think that our police department and New Haven’s are big on community policing and doing more for the community that we serve because it’s our job and we care about those we are trying to keep safe,” said officer Abbey Pantini. 

That is a benefit of being a campus police officer compared to a NHPD police officer. Whereas a NHPD officer might not get those opportunities to be with the community as much as they want, campus police get to be around the Southern community and walk around. 

There are pros and cons that come along with both jobs but the sense of being around and a part of the community doesn’t change. 

“As a campus/university police officer you have more of an opportunity to do community policing like – attending events, interacting daily with staff and students. NHPD has a unit for events, but they want to do more community-based activities,” said Lt. Anderson.  

This was the biggest benefit officers Pantini and Anderson mentioned and they believe that if New Haven Police were able to do so more often then, they would. Police enjoy being there in the community and making sure everything is safe but there are problems occurring in the community and must be resolved first.  

“I think we have a really good working relationship and we always have. When you have good leadership the work goes hand and hand with New Haven, just like us going down the line of rankings the leadership and great people are there,” said Pantini. 

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