Twenty five graduate from Community Police Academy

Twenty-five members of the university community recently graduated from the 10-week Stanford Department of Public Safety (SUDPS) Community Police Academy.

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The 10-week Community Police Academy teachers members of the Stanford community what it’s like to be a police officer.

The academy is taught by VINCE BERGADO, program coordinator for the SUDPS, and seeks to debunk myths of law enforcement. It has been offered during winter quarter since 2003.

Among the issues the academy addresses are evidence collection, implicit bias and fingerprinting. Participants even had a chance to participate in a realistic situation simulated with paintballs.

“The primary goals of the Community Police Academy are to demystify public safety while building trust and develop a partnership between the department and the Stanford community,” Bergado said. “Ultimately, we hope that the program will create a dialogue and greater understanding with those who participate in the course.”

“It was interesting listening to lectures on implicit bias and the process of DUI stops and other police interactions, said ELIANA GREENBERG, a senior majoring in human biology. “It offered a lot of insight into how I interact with law enforcement on a day-to-day basis.”

“We learned a lot about how stress and quick decision-making affect a person or an officer during simulations training,” said AARON MARTIN, front desk supervisor of the Rains Community Graduate Student Housing, part of Residential & Dining Enterprises. “Clear communication is especially important in emergencies. From the perspective of an officer, their communication is very important to all parties: fellow officers, victims, bystanders and suspects.”

The students earned a private graduation ceremony, where they received a certificate and shook hands with Stanford Chief of Police LAURA WILSON before celebrating with slices of cake.

“I felt a sense of shared civic duty to pass on the lessons and experiences with friends and family,” Martin said. “I’m glad to say that we have an entire department here at Stanford that cares strongly about the ideals of community policing.”

To learn more about the Community Police Academy, read our full-length article.