UW News

March 6, 2008

UWPD Citizens Academy coming Wednesdays, April 2 to June 4

UW News

With concerns about campus safety ever-present in the news, UW Police Crime Prevention Officer Warren Bresko says the department’s Citizens Academy makes particularly good sense.

The Citizen’s Academy is a free 10-week course that will next be held from 3 to 5 p.m. Wednesdays April 2 to June 4, in Room 203 of the Fisheries Science Building, across the street from the UWPD Station. Signups are being taken through March 24.

“It’s offered from the student, staff and faculty standpoint,” Bresko said. “And it ties in with campus violence prevention — identifying individuals or situations that give us red flags.”

It’s that and much more, he said. The course offers information on just about everything you might want to know about how police work is done on campus. General topics include:

  • community and police relationships,
  • patrol operations,
  • criminal investigations,
  • traffic enforcement,
  • domestic violence, and,
  • crime prevention.

Bresko said there also will be presentations on arrest, search and seizure policies, the use of force, defensive tactics, lethal weapons and shoot/don’t shoot situations, high-speed chases and high-risk traffic stops.

Participants also will likely get to meet the UWPD’s explosives detection dog Kali and maybe a police drug dog, too.

Bresko said that in discussing the “continuum of force and how that affects police officers,” class members will learn more about why and how police react to various situations — including such incidents as the tasering of an unruly student at the University of Florida last year.

There are no special requirements for being a part of the Citizens Academy, though UWPD will screen each participant. And it’s not related to employment with the police in any way.

Some of the material covered, Bresko said, links to the regular violence prevention presentations he and other officers regularly make on campus. He said the academy will include information on “active shooter” scenarios, the type witnessed on campuses recently. This will include coaching on how to react — to flee, to stay hidden, to try and take action — given different circumstances.

Part of this is always being aware of your surroundings and the routes you take around campus. “When I do my presentations I ask, ‘How many of you take the same elevator every day to and from work?’ And, ‘If something happens right now, what do I do to prepare myself?”

And though the Citizens Academy might not be for everyone, Bresko said, “Having someone in your work group who understands how we work can be an asset. Now they know how we do business.”

To apply, call the Crime Prevention Officers at 206-543-9338 or e-mail them at wbresko@u.washington.edu or arnieb@u.washington.edu. E-mail is preferred. The UW Police Crime Prevention Office is located in the Bryants Building, at 1117 NE Boat Street.