The Colorado Springs Police Department (CSPD) is proud to announce the launch of a newly re-structured Community Academy.
The Community Academy program is designed to educate community members about police officers, policies and procedures of the department, and the community member’s role in the interaction of community members and police through a series of classes. In addition to helping the community members better understand the police department, it in turn helps the police department better understand community members and their concerns. Topics ranged from organizational structure, internal investigations, community relations, homicide investigation procedures, and more.
In the past, the Community Academy consisted of a 12-week in-person curriculum where officers would present on various topics. It required participants to undergo backgrounds checks, limited attendance to 25 people maximum, and classes were held at a set time for 12 full weeks (making it difficult for many people who worked nights to attend). While the program was successful in achieving participant numbers, the department realized there was more that could be done to make this program inclusive for everyone.
Instead of hosting the Community Academy in person, we are now bringing these topics to our community in an engaging online video format. The first video was released on Friday, September 10, 2021, and additional videos will be released periodically throughout the year. The new Community Academy can be found on our website, Facebook, and YouTube.
By bringing these video topics online, we can create more accessible information that can be viewed on-demand. It also takes away unintended barriers that were in place due to the Community Academy being in-person.
“We are excited about this new format of the Community Academy, especially because it allows our community to get to know us in the time and manner of their choosing. While we understand that not everyone will view these videos, we want to make sure the opportunity is there for anyone who wants it,” says CSPD Chief Vince Niski.
Community Relations Sergeant Jason Newton, whose unit oversees the Community Academy, says, “Thanks to the feedback we received from our community members, this new and inclusive format is designed to provide insight into the police department. We hope conversation continues and encourage community members to ask questions, recommend topics, and dive deeper into specific issues. The CSPD Community Relations Unit will continue to be available to answer questions or meet with community groups.”
If you have any follow-up questions or would like to further speak about a topic presented in the Community Academy, please reach out to the CSPD Community Relations Unit at CSPDCommunityRelations@coloradosprings.gov
Watch Community Academy Videos
We are the Colorado Springs Police Department
This introductory video gives you an insisght into the Colorado Springs Police Department. You will hear from Chief Niski, see our orgniazational structure, and more.
Patrol Bureau Overview
The second video in this series, featuring Deputy Chief Jeff Jensen, gives an overview of the Colorado Springs Police Department's Patrol Bureau.