Step into the Shoes of Campus Safety Officers

The 18th Duke Citizens Police Academy offers a first-hand look at campus policework

Police help students at Citizens Police Academy.

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“There are so many takeaways,” Elliott said. “You’ll leave with a better understanding of what people in law enforcement do, and more importantly, you build a relationship. We are part of the Duke community and so are the Duke Police. After this, you’ll walk away with a great appreciation of what they do.”

Applications for the 18th Duke Citizens’ Police Academy, open to all staff and faculty of Duke University and Duke University Health System, are being accepted now. The academy, which consists of six weekly Wednesday evening sessions, begins in early October.

Among topics covered through role playing simulations and discussions with officers are de-escalation tactics, traffic stops, firearms safety, what to do in active shooter situations, how to spot domestic violence, and the unique challenges of safety in healthcare environments.

“We try to make it as engaging as possible,” said Duke University Police Officer Aaron Pruka, an academy instructor. “The main purpose of this is to build a relationship with the Duke community, but we want to get important information out there as well. We want to show people what police work entails and what people deal with in high-pressure, high-stress situations.”

In addition to the academy for staff and faculty, there is an academy for Duke students and for alumni of the program who want to learn more.

“The goal of the academy is to inform and educate and it absolutely did that,” said Carolee Helgesen, Duke Health Technology Solutions coordinator for security, safety and events and a participant in the spring 2023 academy. “If you have any interest or questions about police and what they do, I can’t recommend this enough.”

For more information, including the application form, see here.

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