For the second year in a row, the UB community (faculty, staff and students) has been invited to join the University at Buffalo Citizens Police Academy. The academy offers free classes in order to illustrate how the police force operates and strives to ensure safety on campus and in the surrounding communities.
This seven-week course, starting February 10th, is geared towards raising awareness and reducing crime. Providing an inclusive look into the lives of policemen, this course also explains the police’s pertinent role within the criminal justice system. Classes will be taught by University Police officers and other public safety officials in an interactive classroom setting.
“It’s a way for the [student] community to have a better understanding of what the police do,” says Gerald Schoenle, chief of University Police. “It’s a really good educational opportunity for them, like a mini-police academy where they get to experience a lot of what police officers do in a police academy.”
Participants will be exposed to a variety of situations customarily addressed by police such as fire and first aid, New York State penal law, traffic and accident investigations, criminal and crime scene investigation, and other patrol procedures. Discussions will center on topics including how the police deal with domestic violence issues, such as family and sexual offenses, and controlling drug and alcohol related incidents.
While learning about police legalities and being put through actual police training procedures, students will also get the chance to be a part of the action with hands-on activities, such as University Police ride-a-longs in squad cars.
The program is open to UB faculty and staff, but is mostly geared toward students. Attendance is not limited only to those in criminal justice majors and anyone who shows an interest is welcome. Last year people from a diverse range of departments participated, such as Disability Services, UB External affairs, Parking and Transportation, Residence Life, the School of Pharmacy, and Student Leadership to name a few.
“I think it helps students become better citizens,” says Schoenle. “It’s another part of their academic experience. One of our previous students said it was probably the best thing she did so far in her three and a half years at UB.”
Classes will be held on Wednesdays at 6:30PM for approximately three hours beginning February 10th, and class size will average 20 students. Classes are non-credit for university students, but still serve as an excellent learning experience, especially for those looking to enter the police force in the future. The program ends with a graduation ceremony where students will be awarded diplomas by Chief Gerald W. Schonle.
Answers to questions and application information can be had by contacting the University Police at 716.645.2228, or email Lt. Dave Urbanek at email@example.com.