Duke Citizens Police Academy Leaves Lasting Bonds

Duke University Police honors newest class of graduates

Duke University Hospital's Rhonda Tilley accepts her certificate after completing the Alumni Citizens' Police Academy on Friday. Photo by Stephen Schramm.
Duke University Hospital's Rhonda Tilley accepts her certificate after completing the Alumni Citizens Police Academy on Friday. Photo by Stephen Schramm.

The last time members of the Duke University Police Department’s Citizens Police Academy saw Tammy Boseman, she had arrived at her workplace a few weeks ago to find a window broken, a door ajar and a crime scene waiting inside.

“I was actually pretty calm,” said Boseman, who patiently explained to academy participants what she’d seen, which was all part of a training exercise.

Back among many of the same people at Friday afternoon’s graduation ceremony of the Citizens Police Academy, Boseman smiled as she thought back to that day's burglary simulation as part of the academy.

“It was wonderful,” Boseman said, recalling her role in the simulation.

The graduates of the Citizens' Police Academy pose for a photo. Photo by Stephen Schramm.Over the past few years, Boseman, a senior staff assistant with Duke’s Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development, took part in two rounds of the Citizens Police Academy. This spring, she returned to help, volunteering to play the role of a witness during an exercise built around the simulated crime scene.

And on Friday, her affection for the program brought her back to celebrate another group of graduates.

“I just love the camaraderie,” Boseman said. “It’s wonderful. If I could do it all over again, I would.”

The Citizens Police Academy, which gives Duke employees a seven-week opportunity to learn how police do their jobs, honored its 13th class of graduates on Friday with lunch at the Devils’ Den on Central Campus. Also celebrated at Friday’s event were the graduates of the third Student Police Academy, which covered two weeks, and the seventh round of graduates of the Alumni Citizens Police Academy, which unfolded over five weeks.

Citizens' Police Academy graduate LaRon Blount provided remarks during Friday's ceremony. Photo by Stephen Schramm.While many of the sessions of the police academies provided hands-on learning opportunities about active shooters, drunk drivers, self-defense and the complex decisions law enforcement officers make on a regular basis, many academy graduates say that the major benefit of the experience is the lasting bonds among participants and officers.

“We’re really honored that you chose to spend some time with us,” Duke Police Chief John Dailey told the group. “I hope you learned more about us, but more importantly, I hope you were able to establish some relationships with each other and also with the officers.”

Daryl Mount, who took over for longtime Citizens’ Police Academy Director Eric Hester earlier this year, called the network of academy alums “a big family.”

“This just brings a lot of people together,” he said.

That family was back together on Friday as members of the Duke University Police forces and former Citizens Police Academy participants, such as Boseman, showed up to support the new class of 41 graduates.

“You just have a greater appreciation of the job they do,” said Barbara Pollock, who completed the Citizens’ Police Academy after recently retired from Duke’s Sanford School of Public Policy. “It was a great time.”

Here are the Duke employees who took part in the 2019 Spring Citizens’ Police Academies

Citizens’ Police Academy

  • Amy McCann – Sanford School of Public Policy
  • Amy Puglia – Office of Emergency Preparedness
  • Barbara Pollock – Sanford School of Public Policy
  • Ben Miller – Clinical and Translational Science Institute
  • Grant Martin – Duke Stores
  • Jay Harris – Duke Press
  • John Gorsuch – Duke Stores
  • Jory Weintraub – Duke University Science & Society
  • Kelly Jennings – Student Affairs
  • Keysha Hall – Duke University School of Nursing
  • LaRon Blount – Physical and Occupational Therapy
  • Maria Perrone – Office of Trademark and Licensing
  • Owais Mahmood – Biomedical Engineering
  • Rometa Summerlin – Duke School of Nursing
  • Susan Ellis – Duke University Police Department

Alumni Citizens Police Academy

  • Amy Hnat – Duke Infection Prevention
  • Anne Guyton – Duke Cancer Institute
  • Bonita Douglas – Duke University School of Nursing
  • David Kearns – Duke Health Technology Solutions
  • Jamie Cross – Duke Childrens’ Health Center
  • Lolita Guasp – Gastroenterology
  • Lori Crooks – Duke University School of Medicine
  • Maggie McDonough – Duke University School of Nursing
  • Paula Alford – Duke University School of Medicine
  • Rhonda Tilley – Duke University Hospital Risk Management
  • Sam Fox – Office of University Counsel
  • Sharone Pack – Patient Revenue Management Organization
  • Susan Chase – Office of Research Administration

Have a story idea or news to share? Share it with Working@Duke.