Twenty Members of the 101st Greensboro Police Academy Accept the Oath of Office Tomorrow
GREENSBORO, NC (March 6, 2017) – Twenty recruits will graduate from the 101st Greensboro Police Academy tomorrow, and join the ranks of the Greensboro Police Department. The ceremony includes a presentation of awards, diplomas, and badges, as well as the oath of office.
The recruits who take the oath at 10 am on March 7 at The Carolina Theater, 310 S. Greene St., are from the second class to receive a revised program of instruction that focused on the skills needed to support Neighborhood Oriented Policing – specifically, interpersonal communication, problem-solving, and using technology to make communities safer.
The revised program of instruction supports Scott’s strategy of instituting professional development programs to build skilled, passionate and values-based employees.
The recruits who entered the academy Sept. 1, 2016 received 40 hours of formal instruction on various communication techniques. This is five times the state-mandated requirement of eight hours of training. “The ability to effectively communicate with the people we serve is one of our most powerful tools,” said Police Chief Wayne Scott.
As part of the communications training, recruits were taught the principals of procedural justice. Procedural Justice is a collaborative method of listening and talking that increases mutual understanding and trust among members of the public and police.
“Understanding Implicit Bias” training, which examines the inherent biases present in all people, was also incorporated in the curriculum.
The program of instruction for the Academy further included formal and informal training on de-escalation, decision-making and problem-solving. “Police are problem-solvers, and we need to develop critical thinking at the earliest stage of our career,” stated Scott. Throughout the 25-week Academy, instructors and peers provided feedback on recruits’ judgment and resourcefulness in successfully resolving situations. “That’s a huge part of Neighborhood Oriented Policing,” emphasized Scott.
Technology, an omnipresent aspect of today’s law enforcement career, was embedded throughout the training. The future officers learned about the capabilities of GPD’s mobile data systems that provide near-real-time crime analysis information.
Body worn cameras also played an important role in the recruits’ academic success. The recruits in the 101st Academy wore wear body cameras to record their actions during scenario work, and as they rode with their Patrol Training Officers at different phases in the academy. Interspersing reality-based training throughout the academic portion of the Academy was a significant departure from training models used by most police departments. Normally, newly-sworn officers receive their first exposure to the realities of police work after they graduate from the Academy and are placed under the supervision of a specially-trained senior officer to evaluate their performance.
The graduates from the 101st Academy will spend about 12 weeks with their PTOs. Together, they will review footage from the body-worn cameras and discuss the new officers’ strengths and weaknesses.
The 20 graduates of the 101st Greensboro Police Academy bring with them a diversity of experiences and backgrounds. Five of the recruits are Greensboro natives. Others hail from five different states. One recruit is from Santo Domingo; another from Jamaica. Two recruits have military experience. Fourteen have college degrees. The recruits are: three African American males, one African American female, one Hispanic male, one Hispanic female, two white females, and twelve white males.
Lawndale Baptist Church has donated bibles on which officers may swear the oath of office if they so desire. The officers may keep the bibles throughout their careers.
The 102nd Greensboro Police Academy began on March 1. Fifty-seven percent of the class is minority.
GPD is now accepting applications for the 103rd Academy through Dec. 31, 2017. Among other qualifications, applicants must be at least 21 years of age and a US citizen. Residency in Greensboro is not a requirement. A full list of qualifications and other information can be found at www.joinGSOpd.org