KSU Police Department teaches community members police skills through Citizen’s Police Academy

Madison MacArthur

The Citizen’s Police Academy put on by KSU Police Department instructed members of the Kent community on skills required to be a police officer with classes lasting five weeks.

This semester’s Citizen’s Police Academy included 16 participants consisting of Kent State students, faculty and staff. Classes spanned Oct. 19 to Nov. 16, and marked the third semester KSU Police ran the academy.  

“(The academy gives) a chance for the public to see in a sort of microfashion what a police officer goes through to prepare to become a police officer,” said William Buckbee, assistant director of public safety and assistant chief of Kent State Police Department.

The overall goal of the academy is to have people leave with a better understanding of why police officers work the way they do, Buckbee said.

Similar to Kent State University Police Department, Kent City Police puts on an annual Citizen’s Police Academy with the next one January 2018.  

Christopher Woolverton, professor of environmental health science, experienced both Kent State University and Kent Police’s Citizen’s Police Academy.

“I learned an awful lot about what the role of a police officer is and how they respond on campus and off campus,” Woolverton said.  “I thought that this would be a nice comparison for me to see how our Kent State University Police operate and also to get to know some of them.”

Woolverton said while both Citizen’s Police Academies are similar, KSU Police focuses on a different target during training.

“They both have the same goal: protecting life and people and property, but out in the city, things happen a little bit faster than they do on campus,” he says. “Campus is kind of a controlled environment with just about the same age group of people with the same type of activities that students typically do. Out in the city, it’s anybody’s guess what could happen.”

Rhonda Lindsay, a receptionist at the Kent Student Center, wanted to learn more about the campus police officers through the academy.

“I get to interact quite a bit with the police officers,” Lindsay said. “They patrol all the different buildings and they always come in and chit chat and that kind of thing. They’re just really nice. I thought it would just be interesting just to see what they have to do.”

Throughout the presentations, Lindsay appreciated getting to know the officers and the philosophy of the department such as the five moral standards.

Megan Anaple, a junior fashion merchandising major heard about the academy from her sorority president.

“I really enjoyed learning not only what our laws are, but what (the police) can and can’t do too,” she said. “I think that putting yourself in their shoes and seeing why they do the things they do is important and not everybody knows that.”

Joshua Pedraza, a sophomore criminology and justice studies major is in the process of becoming a police officer and attended the academy.  

“I’m definitely glad I took this, because it has opened my eyes in many different ways,” Pedraza said. “I thought I knew the different things that cops go through each day, but not until you do a mock traffic stop and a mock scenario. It’s very different.”

The academy is open to all students, faculty and staff at Kent State. For more information, contact KSU Police Department Resource Officer Tricia Knoles at [email protected] or 330-672-7156

Madison MacArthur is the safety reporter. Contact her at [email protected].