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Outside the Academy: Learning Community Policing through Community Engagement

Publication Date

July 2017


Anne Li Kringen and Jonathan Allen Kringen


Although academy curricula may teach the concepts of community policing, questions abound concerning whether community policing can be effectively learned this way. To enhance community policing training in the academy, the New Haven (CT) Police Department implemented a novel, community-engaged training requirement as a component of academy training. Recruits were required to complete community service and undertake a community project while attending the academy. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with each of the 29 academy recruits. Recruits who participated in NHPD’s community-engaged training pilot predominantly reported positive experiences and demonstrated substantial community orientation and overwhelming support for community policing. Particularly important was the tendency for the training to overcome preconceived notions and limited experience with the New Haven community. These findings suggest community-engaged training during the academy may represent a way to fundamentally alter officers’ understanding of community policing and the communities they will eventually serve, perhaps fundamentally changing policing in the process.

Research Design


Research Methods

Case study, Interviews, Literature review

Recommended Citation

Kringen, A.L., & Kringen, J.A. (2017). Outside the academy: Learning community policing through community engagement. National Policing Institute. https://www.policinginstitute.org/publication/outside-the-academy-learning-community-policing-through-community-engagement/