The need for effective police training is more urgent than ever, as the impact of COVID-19 and growing tensions in community-police relations combine to strain communities of color and police forces alike. Like many cities across the country, New Haven has seen an increase in community protest expressions toward police in recent months.
To help address these issues, the Center for Advanced Policing has created an innovative training program that focuses on shifting underlying perceptions and attitudes to change behaviors. The program will be part of regular in-service training that will be piloted in 2021 for all officers in the New Haven Police Department. Cadets and field training officers will also receive additional support.
“This is a unique approach and one that can resonate with our officers and ultimately help improve police-community relationships,” said New Haven Chief of Police Otoniel Reyes ’14 MPA in a statement expressing his support for the program.
“This grant is an amazing opportunity, and I couldn’t be happier about this news,” said Lisa Dadio, director of the Center for Advanced Policing who spent 16 years as part of the New Haven PD’s detective division, retiring in 2012 as lieutenant commanding the major crimes unit. “I can’t wait to roll this training out to the rank and file of the New Haven Police Department in 2021. We are grateful to 4-CT for its support of this critical project, and we appreciate their commitment to initiatives that will benefit both the officers and diverse communities that they serve during these difficult and unprecedented times.”
“Tackling issues at the heart of systemic injustices that precipitate disproportionate impacts of COVID-19 on communities of color is a critical priority in 4-CT’s pandemic response,” added Ted Yang, CEO of 4-CT. “The Center for Advanced Policing is a leader in police training and reform with deep connections to experts in the field both locally and nationally. We are proud to partner with them on this community policing training program and anticipate that strong outcomes in New Haven will serve as a foundation to expand to other cities and police departments in Connecticut and beyond.”