Citizen Police Academy takes community behind the scenes at Yale Police Department

The session with Eli, the bomb-sniffing dog, may be one of the most fun parts of the Citizen Police Academy, being offered again this fall. It’s the up-close-and-personal look at the inner workings of a real police station, however, that past participants have said they most appreciate about the program sponsored by the Yale University Police Department (YPD).

“I think I personally had a ‘pre-conceived notion’ about police officers, but seeing why certain things are done helped rid me of that belief. … I learned that being a police officer is a harder job than I believed, and the training involved is quite intense,” noted School of Management staff member Elizabeth Oliver, who took the course in the spring.

“Being able to see as well as hear about police procedures made the time go by quickly,” she added. “Also, getting to know the officers I see around campus provides an opportunity to have a real connection to them.”

Designed to increase understanding and awareness of police operations and responsibilities, the Citizen’s Police Academy is open to members of the Yale and New Haven community free of charge. The course incorporates classroom training and hands-on activities. It includes a tour of YPD headquarters, which features state-of-the-art communications technology, and sessions on investigative services (“CSI vs. Reality”), patrol procedures, personal safety, emergency preparedness and firearms. As mentioned above, there is also an opportunity to meet Eli and hear about his bomb-sniffing talents.

This fall’s academy will take place over a six week period 6-8:30 p.m. on Tuesdays from Oct. 4 to Nov. 8. Classes will take place at the Yale Police Department at 101 Ashmun St.

There is a two-step application process. Initial registration is online at YPD will then contact each applicant to arrange for a criminal history check. Upon completion of the process, an email confirmation will be sent by YPD verifying placement in the academy.

Applicants must be 18 years of age and a member of the Yale or New Haven community.

Applications are due by Monday, Sept. 26. Space is limited; participation is on a first-come first-served basis.

“I think this is a great opportunity for the community to learn about the department” said another past participant, Leigh Shields of the Department of Psychiatry, “and I hope more people will take this opportunity.”

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