US Perspectives on Local Policing in North Carolina

Ref: 10003727


First and second year Policing and Criminal Investigations students enrolled on Profession of Policing (CRIM1015/POLC1011), Legislation and Policy (POLC1012), Problem Based Policing (POLC1016), Critical Incident Management (CRIM2014) and Investigative Management and Leadership (CRIM2016) are eligible to participate in this opportunity. The maximum number of places on this opportunity is 15 and the minimum the trip will go ahead with is 10. DMU staff will be accompanying the group.

DMU students are only eligible to receive one academic-led trip bursary per year. Please check our eligibility criteria for further details.


The purpose of the trip is for the students of the Policing and Criminal Investigations degree program to gain first-hand experience learning about local policing in municipality in the US. The Chapel Hill Police Department, an agency where the Trip Lead previously worked full time as a Sergeant and currently serves as a reserve officer, will be the lead local partner in facilitating this experience. This department has experience supporting university students in gaining field experience and sharing knowledge about various aspects of local policing. As part of this experience the agency as agreed to allow DMU students to conduct a ride-along during a normal shift with certified Field Training Officers. Field Training Officers are responsible for providing new recruits with practical guidance as they transition from applying their classroom knowledge to working in a locale after they complete the police academy. Therefore, these individuals will be well-suited to help DMU students begin to understand some of the way their classroom learning works in the day to day of policing in a local community. As part of this experience each student will be expected to complete a full shift shadowing a Field Training Officer which will involve accompanying that officer during that shift to the various calls of service that officer is dispatched to. It is expected that students will gain a deeper appreciation of the way that police officers make decisions, work with communities, support fellow officers, exercise discretion and liaise with other community agencies in performing their day to day duties as officers.

In addition to being able to shadow a Field Training Officer, DMU students will also attend a bespoke two-day Community Police Academy organised by the Chapel Hill Police Department. There, along with students from The University of North Carolina, students will participate in classroom-based learning and practice exercises that will cover a range of topics relevant to their course including: Police Officers’ Qualifications and Training; Officer Safety and Domestic Response Considerations; Use of Force by Police Officers; Social Issues and Police Work; Crime Statistics; Fair and Impartial Policing (Bias Training), Traffic Stop Demonstrations; Burglary Response Considerations; and Investigations and Forensic Evidence. They will also participate in simulated exercise where they will have to use critical thinking skills and their own discretion to navigate through life and death scenarios. Additionally, they will tour of the Chapel Hill Police Department, observe a K-9 Demonstration, meet members of the Crisis Unit, and the Special Emergency Response Team. Upon completing the two-day course, they will graduate from the academy and receive certificates of completion.

Finally, students will also spend a day attending a North Carolina Traffic Court session and possibly observe a criminal trial that may be ongoing. A District Court Judge and District Attorney will lecture with the students also about the U.S. Court System. The Sheriff of the Orange County Sheriff’s Office will also hold a meet and greet with the students. Not only will this provide students with an opportunity to see how policing connects with the broader justice system, but they will have a chance to meet some of the key people involved in the administration of justice and law enforcement locally.

Cultural activities

Chapel Hill, NC is centrally located near a number of major universities so there are a number of opportunities for students to interact socially with other students in their spare time primarily on Franklin Street which is equivalent to the local high street with a range of student-friendly social activity. As part of the trip there will be a group opportunity to attend a Durham Bulls Baseball game, an American past time. Students will also be to travel to other surrounding cities and shop or take tours of sites including Morehead Planetarium, Southpoint Mall and the Tobacco Road district in nearby Durham.

Travel and accommodation

  • Travel – Students are required to independently book their travel.
  • Accommodation – The faculty will book accommodation for this opportunity, and students will be expected to pay the full amount following confirmation of their place.

Contact details

Visa information

In order to participate in this trip, you are responsible for ensuring that you meet the US immigration requirements.

All students will require an ESTA or some kind of visa to travel to the USA. Further information will be provided to all accepted students regarding the type of visa required and how to apply. If you have any specific questions about this please email for advice. Please note that you are responsible for checking processing times and meeting all application requirements in order to ensure that you receive your visa prior to departure. Please be aware that immigration decisions are made by individual embassies.

Key Information

  • Departure date: Monday 27 April 2020
  • Return date: Monday 4 May 2020
  • Estimated cost of travel and accommodation: £1150
  • Students will also be required to pay for: UK and in-country transfers, cultural activities, food & drink, visa (if applicable)
  • DMU Global bursary: £400
  • Deadline for application: Monday 10 February 2020 9am