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Putting a Sacred Cow Out to Pasture

NCJ Number
Police Chief Volume: 63 Issue: 11 Dated: (November 1996) Pages: 40-44
K D Codish
Date Published
5 pages
This article describes the conversion of the New Haven Police Department's (Connecticut) training academy from one oriented toward a militaristic police paradigm toward training in community policing.
The period covered in this description encompasses 1990, when the conversion began, into 1996, when the academy was significantly expanded; an outline of academy plans for the next 5 years is also included. The first steps in the conversion involved structuring the academy as a university, infusing community policing concepts into the entire curriculum, and getting students out of the classroom and into community settings as often as possible. The student handbook emphasizes the importance of academics, original research, communication skills, critical thinking, community involvement, and officer discretion and dialog. State-mandated training subjects have been supplemented with a host of classes and workshops on additional topics, including nonviolent alternative dispute resolution, community mediation and problemsolving, bias and hate crimes, violence against women, HIV and AIDS, elder abuse, and police interaction with persons impaired in various ways. This article reviews what was learned in the first 2 years of the transformation and the subsequent changes made. A review of the years 1993-94 focuses on building partnerships, outreach, and education. The period 1995-96 encompasses the expansion of classes and the use of interactive teaching methods. The 5-year plan beyond 1996 encompasses objectives, degree-granting and application procedures, entrance requirements, the campus, tuition and fees, financial aid, remedial classes, flexible schedules, childcare for students and faculty, core curriculum, focus, and applicants sought.