In 2016 the Northampton Police Department initiated its Community Classroom Program. The program was designed to bring together members of the public and members of NPD to engage in shared learning in a classroom setting. In most cases instructors are members of NPD who have expertise in the subject area. Classes are held in the Community Room of the police station and usually occur from 6-8:30 PM on varying weeknights. We select class topics based on what we believe citizens would be interested in learning. We are also open to suggested topics from community members. Suggestions or requests for certain topics may be emailed to Captain John Cartledge (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Understanding Police Use of Force:
Members of the Northampton Police Department are offering citizens the opportunity to better understand how police respond to resistance. With so many visual images of police and citizen conflict appearing in the news and social media, it is critical that citizens understand how an officer decides to use force and what levels of force are appropriate. The curriculum includes police equipment, the Use of Force Model, NPD’s injury and force reporting requirements, common myths, and ends with incident assessments. The assessment portion of the class involves the review of actual police encounters and encourages students to use what they have learned to analyze how force was used.
The class is instructed by members of NPD. Instructors look forward to sharing this information and to hearing the thoughts and concerns of participants. We believe that this understanding is an essential component of building trust with our community.
Our first class was held on June 7, 2016 with 17 citizens participating. Future classes are contingent upon further interest from community members. This class is also available to school groups, organizations, or agencies.