Published: April 17, 2024

University police departments serve a unique population, many of whom are young adults away from home and navigating difficult situations for the first time. That’s why a new CU Boulder Police Department (CUPD) training focuses on positive interactions to increase safety for everyone.

CallBox Training worked with both commissioned officers and professional staff this month in a combined training centered on modern principles of policing and communication techniques that can be particularly helpful during stressful situations.

Tyrone Campbell leads CallBox Training in a classroom

CallBox Training's Tyrone Campbell instructs CU Boulder police officers and staff at the CUPD training center on campus.

“As a victim advocate, it’s wonderful to see the prioritization of these qualities in a training setting,” said Catie Ladas, CUPD's embedded victim advocate. She offers in-the-moment emotional support or responds on-scene after incidents, and provides follow-up information for police reports. Ladas can also refer crime victims and survivors to confidential counselors at CU Boulder’s Office of Victim Assistance.

“The de-escalation tools we learned may be utilized with all people we speak with, including victims and survivors, suspects and witnesses; and emotions are often heightened during stressful situations,” she said.

Callbox co-owner and trainer Shannon Campbell, who provides ongoing instruction to CUPD along with her husband Tyrone Campbell, said this type of training is particularly impactful in a university setting. “The importance of navigating situations and understanding that many students are still trying to adapt to a new environment cannot be overstated,” she said. 

The training was also an opportunity for officers and professional staff to learn from one another while engaging in open dialog. “For my job, in particular, it is important for me to learn new tools that may be applied to my work in supporting survivors, and to stay up to date on what my colleagues are being trained on, so I can better understand their role,” said Ladas, adding that it’s crucial to continue to learn about ways to enhance community safety through genuine connection and care. 

Campbell agreed: “Our ultimate goal is to leave the citizens we serve feel as though they have been heard, while furthering the mission of public safety,” she said.