GREENSBORO, N.C. – Greensboro Police Department is graduating eighteen recruits from the 102nd Greensboro Police Academy, who entered the academy March 1 earlier this year.

During the ceremony, held at The Carolina Theater on August 30th, the graduates made their oath of office, received awards, diplomas, and badges, after a 27-week-long training.

This is the third graduating class from the Academy to receive a revised program of instruction that focuses on skills such as interpersonal communication, problem-solving, and using technology for “Neighborhood Oriented Policing.”

“It’s a reemphasis on soft skills,” said Police Chief Wayne Scott. “We’re concentrating on that more while sill delivering the basic skills we need to keep our folks safe.”

The recruits received a total of 40 hours of communications techniques instruction, which is at least five times the state-mandated eight hours of training.

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Among those 40 hours of training, the recruits learned the principles of procedural justice, “a collaborative method of listening and talking that increases mutual understanding and trust among members of the public and police,” according to a press release.

“Understanding Implicit Bias” played an important role in the recruits’ training, examining the inherent biases in all people.

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The revised program also emphasizes the importance of technology in law enforcement today.

In efforts to include technology in the curriculum, the recruits learned about the mobile data systems used at GPD “that provide near-real-time crime analysis information,” the press release states.

The use of body cameras was also part of the technological component of the program.

“This is just the second academy that, day one they sit in the class, they’re wearing a body camera,” said Scott. “It gives them an opportunity to get used to that muscle memory to have that camera on,” he adds.

As opposed to the normal first exposure to the field, graduates of the 102nd Academy will have already experienced scenario work from riding with their Patrol Training Officers and reviewing their actions from the footage recorded on their body cameras.

For 14 years, the graduates will be supervised by their PTOs when they will be able to discuss strengths and weaknesses based on their fieldwork.

According to GPD, the future officers bring diverse background and experiences to the team. Seven of the recruits are from North Carolina. One recruit was born in Egypt and another was born in Vietnam.

Seven of the recruits worked in the military and eight of them have college degrees.

Three recruits are African-American males, two Hispanic males, one Asian male, four white females, and eight white males.

Applications for the 104th Academy are now open through November 30, 2017. Applicants must be at least 21 years old and possess U.S. citizenship. Residency in Greensboro is not a requirement. For more information visit