Duke community members who want to better understand aspects of favorite shows like CSI or Law & Order have a unique opportunity this fall.
The Duke University Police Department is now accepting applications for its second Citizens' Police Academy, an eight-course program geared to offer students, faculty and staff the chance to gain greater insight into the operations of Duke Police. During the program, participants will meet in the evening weekly to learn about a variety of police duties and participate in hands-on sessions that include firearm safety, traffic stops, patrolling campus on Segways, how to react to emergency incidents and more.
The academy will run Sept. 16 to Oct. 23 with a special graduation event on Nov. 8. Students and employees can download and fill out an application from the Duke Police website. Applications must be submitted by Aug. 16.
Classes will be taught at Duke Police offices at 402 Oregon St., although some classes will require travel to local sites. In those cases, Duke Police will provide transportation. Instructors will provide training much like that is given at an academy for police recruits.
"The Academy teaches staff helpful ways to keep our campus community safe, but I was surprised at the friendships and networking that also took place among participants," said Eric Hester, crime prevention officer with Duke Police. "We want to be a resource to the Duke community, but we also know that safety is a shared responsibility and the more people we can teach and interact with, the better."
The inaugural Citizens' Police Academy class graduated in March, with 18 staff taking part in the program. Among them was MaryAnne Y. Zabrycki, strategic service associate for safety at the Duke Cancer Institute. She said her experience broadened her understanding of what police and security officers do at Duke and how she and others can get involved.
"All of us that are part of the Duke Community are important eyes and ears in working with our Duke Police partners to protect our patients, staff, students and more," Zabrycki said. "The sessions are fun and you learn a lot from the years of expertise and the variety of teachers within the Citizens' Police Academy."