On March 8, members of the campus community graduated from the Department of Public Safety’s (DPS) community police academy (CPA). The CPA is a free four-week program designed to give students, faculty and staff an idea of what it is like to protect and serve the campus community. During their time, participants learned from guest presenters, including certified instructors from DPS, Fire and Life Safety Services, Residential Safety Program and Syracuse University Ambulance.
The CPA culminated in a graduation ceremony where the graduates were presented with “Stop the Bleed” and CPA graduation certificates from Craig Stone, DPS chief and associate vice president. “Building trust with our campus community is something that we are constantly focused on,” says Chief Stone. “The CPA has been a successful tool in helping strengthen the bonds with our community. I am grateful to both classes of the CPA that have graduated this academic year.”
Feedback from the CPA graduates about how the program was run was encouraging to see. Anne O’Connor, student support assistant in the School of Education, believes the CPA allowed her to have a better understanding of how DPS operates. “Now I know how things flow within DPS, especially in terms of jurisdiction and who can help me in what type of situation,” says O’Connor. “It also showed how many people are really involved to ensure the welfare and safety of every person on campus.”
Officer George Wazen, coordinator of the CPA, is encouraged by the growth he has seen with the program during its first year. “We are so fortunate that our campus community is enthusiastic about this initiative. We were able to increase our number of applicants and our number of graduates from our first CPA that was run in October,” says Wazen. Continuing to improve and expand the CPA is priority number one. “Our team is already hard at work with how we can continue to evolve the program for the future.,” he says.
O’Connor believes the CPA is not just for those who have an interest in law enforcement. “Even if you don’t necessarily have an interest in the police force, this program gave a lot more insight on how to be safe, and the right steps to take in case of any emergency on or off campus,” she says.
Dates for the next CPA during the Fall 2023 semester are in the process of being finalized. To learn more about the program, visit dps.syr.edu and follow DPS on social media (@syracusedps) for updates.