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Oklahoma State University

Employees complete OSUPD Citizens Academy

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Chief Leon Jones handed out certificates on the final night of class. Pictured are (back, from left) Alex Maxwell, Ron Tarbutton, Ross McClure, Jones, Kelby Carver, Dr. Ryan Chung, Dr. Chad Depperschmidt, Dr. Jason Kirksey, (front) Lynne Deaver, Lisa Fischer and Emily Gove.

Thirteen Oklahoma State University employees have completed the OSU Police Department Citizens Academy. The group went through more than 20 hours of class on everything from training requirements to be an officer to crime scene evidence preservation. The class culminated with time on a training simulator that provided examples of real-life scenarios, hosted by the Stillwater Police Department. 
Chief Leon Jones was pleased with the academy, the department’s second. 
“I like for our community to know exactly what the police do,” Jones said. “It’s important they know the efforts we take to protect the campus and create the safe environment we promised. It’s also evidence of transparency with our community — they can police us while we police the community.” 
Ron Tarbutton, director of Facilities Maintenance, found the class eye-opening. 
“I thought I had a pretty good idea of what the OSU Police do, but boy, was I wrong. I learned so much during the OSU Citizen Police Academy,” Tarbutton said. “I have always had a great respect for the police, but I have a much better understanding of what they go through to keep us safe while putting themselves in potentially dangerous situations and having to make split-second decisions.”
Dr. Jason Kirksey, vice president for Institutional Diversity, trained every officer in diversity and inclusion in 2018. He said the academy “deepened my gratitude” for what the officers do on a daily basis. 
“The OSUPD Citizen Academy was an exceptional personal and professional experience,” Kirksey said. “As a black male with an inner-city lived experience with law enforcement that was not always positive, I developed a belief system that the citizen academy challenged, and I broadened my perspective regarding many aspects of policing. Every police department should have a training simulator like the one we were able to experience. It helps officers continue to improve and also offers an opportunity to promote awareness, education and prevention within a community.”
OSU employees who would like to take part in the next academy can email colt.chandler@okstate.edu to get on a waiting list for the 2020 class.

MEDIA CONTACT: Shannon G. Rigsby | Public Information Officer | 405-744-9081 | shannon.rigsby@okstate.edu

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