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Syracuse Police resume community workshop after pandemic delay

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WAER File Photo
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The Syracuse Police Department is working toward improving community relations with a workshop for local residents.

The Citizens Academy will provide weekly training to reiterate police responsibilities. That includes handcuffing, use of force drills, and investigative tactics.

COVID-19 put the academy on hold for the past two years, but Police Lt. Matthew Malinowski said the protests over George Floyd's death during that gap highlighted the need for this kind of event.

“It’s an opportunity for residents of our city that not necessarily want to become police officers but want to gain a better understanding of law enforcement. When we had the protests that occurred last year and the year before that in the aftermath of George Floyd, we did realize that there is definitely a disconnect between the police department and the community.

Malinowski said the academy can give participants a different perspective on policing.

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A scenario we put them through we take one of the smaller-fame females in the department, and we would say to the Citizens Academy participant 'try to place that person into handcuffs,' and you see how difficult it is."

The academy will begin next Monday and lasts through late April. Interested residents must contact the police department to participate.