Duke ‘Cadets’ Graduate from Citizens’ Police Academy

Students, faculty and staff are part of latest class

There weren't any caps or gowns, but a group of 15 Duke community members graduated Friday as part of Duke's Citizens' Police Academy.

The second class of the academy, led and taught by the Duke University Police Department, spent the past two months learning more about the law enforcement process. Participants gathered after work in the classroom and with hands-on drills to better understand how Duke Police members perform their jobs.

Melany Bray, regional development director for University Development, said she enjoyed getting to know officers on a personal level and valued the opportunity to see the diversity of responsibilities.

"We have learned to be more aware of our surroundings and to trust our instincts when something doesn't feel right," Bray said. "We learned that you don’t need a badge to help keep your community safe – it starts with us."

Along with Bray, members of the class highlighted activities like traffic stop and active shooter role play sessions as favorite aspects of the program.

"There's a seriousness for the reason why this academy is put together," said Kyle Cavanaugh, vice president for administration. "It's to give employees a deeper insight into what these men and women do for living and what our philosophy is in terms of providing a safe environment. This is one of the more complex jobs out there, and it's valuable to see the insight into the professionalism and sincerity of which our officers take their responsibilities."

The next class of the Citizens' Police Academy is scheduled to run from February 10 to March 28. Interested Duke community members can contact crime prevention officer Eric Hester via email for more information and how to sign up.

Here are the graduates of this session of the Citizens' Police Academy:

  • Melany Bray, regional development director, University Development
  • Milton Blackmon, associate dean, Trinity College of Arts an Science
  • Karen Goddard, manager of claims and administration, Corporate Risk Management
  • Kate Hendricks, deputy general counsel, University Counsel
  • Natalie Herbstritt, radiation therapist, Duke Cancer Center
  • Robert Mason, graduate student, Duke Divinity School
  • Sara Neer, financial analyst, Corporate Accounts
  • Nelson Santana, radiation therapist, Duke Cancer Center
  • Matthew Prestwood, health administration fellow, Duke Hospital
  • Tyrice Rogers, staff assistant, Academic Advising Center
  • Angela Stephens, senior program coordinator, Private Diagnostic Clinic Accreditation and Safety
  • Traci Scoggins, administrative assistant, Clinical Engineering
  • Michele Seagroves, pharmacy technician, Investigational Drug Service Department
  • Dr. John Wienert, professor of surgery, School of Medicine
  • Kenneth Womack, graduate student, Medical Physics Graduate Program