MERIDEN, Conn. (WTNH) — To become an officer in the state of Connecticut, recruits must complete several months at the academy and over 900 hours of training. This year’s recruit class is getting a new element of training.
As a part of a new initiative in the POST Police Academy, different community members from around the state talked with recruits days before they graduate the academy and go out on the street.
News 8 talked with recruit Kyle Dugas.
“July of last year I decided it was time to move onto something that I was going to be passionate about,” Dugas said.
For about 15 years, Dugas wanted to be in law enforcement.
“I tried back in 2009 and then I ended up getting deployed with the Marine Corps,” he explained.
Several deployments and a construction job later, he’s now days away from graduation.
Dugas comes from a family full of law enforcement officers.
“My wife is a federal agent; I’ve got a few cousins who are cops up in Plainfield, a couple in Jersey…I’d say eight or nine.”
Unlike his family members, he’s going through a new aspect of training. He, along with his recruitment class, will sit in as different community members will share stories and interactions with officers in hopes of giving them a different perspective on the job.
“I thought it was an awesome idea,” Dugas said. “In seven months the majority of things that are taught to us come directly from police officers- retired, active, state, local.”
Tuesday, the recruits got to hear from people not in a uniform.
In a day and age where law enforcement is under a lot of pressure, Dugas said he wants to be as understanding as possible.
“I know everyone’s going to have opinions and they’re perfectly entitled to them.” He continued, “We want the best understanding of how people want us to act in public.”
The group will graduate on Jan. 23 and Dugas will head up to Ledyard and hit the streets.