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Megh Freeland Experiences the Police Force Firsthand

Megh Freeland Experiences the Police Force Firsthand

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

As part of the Duke University Police Department’s Citizens Police Academy, Megh Freeland got to play the role of a law enforcement officer in simulated sobriety tests, domestic disputes and hostage situations.

While she knew there was no real danger, she said it was nerve-wracking nonetheless.

“It’s pretty scary to walk into a situation and not know what’s going to happen,” said Freeland, a human resources manager at the Social Science Research Institute. “They make it look so much easier on TV. On TV, you know there’s a bad guy in there because you hear the music. The real cops don’t have music.”

The Duke University Police Department’s Citizens Police Academy offers members of the Duke community a chance to experience what goes into keeping them safe. There are three versions of the academy offered this spring, for staff and faculty, students and alumni of the program. The application process for the free programs runs from January 3-26.

“The goal is to give people a birds’ eye view of law enforcement and the services that are provided to the Duke community,” said Duke Police Crime Prevention Specialist Eric Hester.

Want to apply? Here is more information on each academy:

Citizens Police Academy

The seven-session Citizens Police Academy provides basic safety tips and allows staff and faculty to experience some common sides of police work, ranging from traffic stops to responding to emergency calls.

Freeland, the human resources manager at the Social Science Research Institute, participated in a simulated intervention in a domestic dispute during her academy.

“We had to talk to both partners and find out who the aggressor was and who needed to be removed from the situation,” she said. “That was really hard, but it was really interesting.”

Meeting weeknights from February 21 to April 5, the session culminates in firearms safety instruction at a range.

Contact Eric Hester at eric.hester@duke.edu.

Alumni Police Academy

The five-session Alumni Police Academy builds off lessons in the first academy and features guest speakers from outside law enforcement agencies such as the Durham Police Department and the Secret Service.

The weeknight classes begin March 6 and wrap up April 3 and will allow participants to learn more about solving cases with forensic evidence and disarming explosives.

Steve Misuraca, assistant dean for the daytime MBA program at the Fuqua School of Business, took both the Citizens Police Academy and Alumni Police Academy.

He was drawn to the program, in part, due to a fascination with law enforcement that he’s harbored since childhood. He found that the bonds he created with officers and colleagues in the classes are what he values most.

“To me, the biggest benefit is the connectivity,” Misuraca said. “It’s made the community more intimate in a way that’s been beneficial to me. … It’s done from a place of community pride and enhancing our safety and well-being.”

For more information, send email to dupd-crimeprevention@duke.edu.

Student Police Academy

The two-day Student Police Academy will launch this spring. Meeting on two Saturdays in February and March, the course came from desire voiced by students for an academy of their own.

“We’ve had students who have been interested in the academy since we started it up a few years ago,” said Duke Police Community Service Officer Daryl Mount. “… They mentioned they’d like to see it in a more abbreviated version.”

For more information, send email to dupd-crimeprevention@duke.edu.

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