Yale’s Police Academy begins seventh year

The Yale Police Department announced earlier this month that its annual police academy program will officially kickoff on Oct. 12.

The Yale Citizen’s Police Academy, which is now in its seventh year, will run every Tuesday evening for six consecutive weeks at the YPD’s 101 Ashmun St. headquarters. As an extension of the YPD’s community-oriented policing strategy, the program is designed to offer members of the Yale and New Haven community insight into the department’s operations, history and responsibilities.

“The goal of the program is to raise awareness and promote an understanding of the types of service the police department provides at Yale, as well as to foster partnerships between the YPD and the community,” said Lieutenant Von Narcisse, who oversees hiring and training for the University’s police force.

This year’s police academy will offer an inside look into the YPD, incorporating classroom training and hands-on activities that range from patrol procedures and investigative services to firearms and state-of-the-art technologies used in modern policing. Participants will also have an opportunity to attend lectures on crime scene processing, interact with a speaker from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and meet Eli, a nine-year-old black Labrador WHO serves as the police department’s bomb detection dog.

Spearheaded by former YPD Chief James Perrotti, the police academy program started after the YPD relocated from its old headquarters on 100 Sachem St. to the larger Rose Center in the Dixwell neighborhood seven years ago.

Since its inception in 2006, the police academy has been a crucial component of the YPD’s commitment to building ties with Yale students and New Haven residents and continues to get “rave reviews” from past participants, Narcisse said.

“Upon completion of the program, [attendees] left with a better understanding of the commitment the YPD has to providing professional innovative policing services with primary emphasis on keeping the campus safe,” Narcisse said.

Despite positive feedback from past participants, 10 students interviewed Sunday said they wanted to hear more about the program before issuing a final verdict.

Dash Turner ‘15 said that, whereas the police academy’s curriculum seems “pretty thorough,” the length of the program might not fit into students’ crowded schedules.

“I’m not sure it’ll be incredibly popular, because I’m not sure how interested the average Yalie is in what the YPD is doing, but I can see a good number of Yalies enrolling,” Turner said, adding that a compressed two- to three-week course might be more popular among students.

Camille Fonesca ‘16 said the police academy is “a good way to improve community relations with the Yale Police.” However, she added that the curriculum seems more geared towards community members than Yale students.

“I would consider enrolling if they focused more on student interaction and, specifically, on how YPD officers enforce the university’s alcohol policy and how they deal with sexual harassment complaints,” Fonesca said.

The police academy is free for any members of the Yale or New Haven community who are 18 years of age or older, but enrollment in the program will be capped at 30 participants, Narcisse said.

Interested applicants can register online through the YPD’s website by Oct. 1.

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