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College Police Academy

Behind the Badge

Behind the Badge College Academy Spring 2019

Dates: June 10 - June 28

The West Hartford Police Department proudly offers an internship specifically designed to expose college students to life, “Behind the Badge.”  Hollywood and the media portray law enforcement careers as one of high speed chases, crime scenes and investigations where criminals are tried and convicted all before the commercial break.  The objective of this program is to address the misconceptions of police work and give students a realistic snapshot of what a career in law enforcement really entails.

Course work includes:

Careers in Law Enforcement - Students will gain unparalleled exposure to the actual application and hiring process.  This includes taking the West Hartford Police Department’s written test and the CHIP test required by every police department in CT.  Students will also practice their interview skills in mock oral boards given by active law enforcement officers. 


Team Building - Students will be challenged with team building exercises every morning.  These challenges are designed to be effectively solved through teamwork, adaptation and creativity. Challenges and solutions are then reviewed in group discussion focusing on how communication and teamwork directly relates to successful police work.




Physical Training (PT) - Students will participate in multiple afternoon physical training sessions.  They will self assess their current abilities and set personal goals which coincide with the standards for police officer qualification.  Students will understand the importance of physical fitness and how it plays a vital role to the success of law enforcement officers throughout their careers.




Crime Scene Investigation - Students will gain an understanding to the intricacies of crime scene investigation.  Police detectives will unfold crime scenes as they interactively guide students through authentic cases.  Students will recognize the difference between tangible evidence and “Hollywood evidence.”  Given demonstrations from police detectives, students will apply these skills to collect latent fingerprints off various surfaces.



Case Law - Students will participate in a constitutional law class which includes group discussion of various case law and examples.  Students will apply their understanding of case law theory through practical application in scenario training.  Students will gain awareness of how state and federal court rulings determine policies and procedures in law enforcement.




Simulated Activity - Students will demonstrate their understanding of practices and theories covered in classroom lectures and discussions in scenario-based training. Scenarios are role played by officers/instructors who provide an after action review for each group of students.  Reviews and reflections are done in these small groups immediately following the scenario and at the end of the day as a whole group.


CT Police Academy - Students will visit the Connecticut Police Academy in Meriden, CT, where they will become familiar with, “Academy life.”  Students receive a guided tour of the academy grounds by Police Officer Standard and Training Council certified instructors who are dedicated to the training of the next generation of law enforcement professionals.

The Behind the Badge program is unique as no other internship in CT provides participants with this level of education integrated with hands-on experience.   This program is specifically designed to move students forward in their pursuit of a career in law enforcement, as well as, to give those students who are still considering such a career more information.  This course will help build individual character and provide a strong base for any chosen career path.

When We Meet - The College Police Academy consists of multiple classroom sessions, stations days (practical skills) and a "ride along" with a West Hartford Police Officer. The classroom sessions will be held at the West Hartford Police Department and possible trips to outside facilities. The stations days will be determined at a later date and the ride along requirement will need to be completed by the end of the academy or soon thereafter. There is a physical fitness component to this offering as well that will help prepare each student to successfully pass a standardized fitness requirement.

Classes are planned to meet 8AM-4PM, Monday through Fridays.

Earn College Credits - This program may meet requirements towards your Criminal Justice Program internship.

Who May Attend the Academy - Any interested college students who have no prior felony convictions are encouraged to attend.

The West Hartford Police Department is now accepting applications for the 19th session of the College Academy. 

Comments from past students:

“It was the most hands-on experience I could have ever gone through.  Every day it was a new activity and it never got boring.” Sophia M.

“This course was put together extremely well. It was good to get the classroom sessions in first and then actually learn how to apply what we have learned to actual scenarios.” Cody H.

“The in-depth look into so many aspects of law enforcement, the details of the hiring process, the look into all this job entails- meaning potential harm and death which helps one really realize if they want to do this job and the extensive training and learning experiences.” Natalie Feliciano

“The Strengths of this course are the variety of fields they show you.  I completed a full internship at another agency and learned a fraction of what I learned at Behind the Badge.”  James W.

“All of the hands on activities help with the confidence building of people who maybe are not used to being in high intensity situations.” Anonymous

For further information, please contact:

Officer Shane McAvay 860-570-8824

Officer Peter Kisela 860-570-8825

Officer Irene Klein 860-570-8823

Download a brochure    

College Police Academy Application