NYPD Deputy Chief Thompson gives Commissioner Banks and Administrator Carter a tour of the new DHSPD training academy

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 15, 2018

Contact: Isaac McGinn (mcginni@hra.nyc.gov, o: 929-221-5564 c: 646-946-9667)

 

ICYMI: DEPARTMENT OF HOMELESS SERVICES ANNOUNCES NEW DHSPD TRAINING ACADEMY AT BEDFORD-ATLANTIC MEN'S SHELTER

New training facility with classrooms and tactical drill floor provides increased presence, improved oversight, and enhanced training for DHS Peace Officers, under NYPD supervision and management

NEW YORK—Yesterday, the de Blasio Administration unveiled the newly-installed DHSPD Training Academy, located at the Bedford-Atlantic Men's Shelter in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. Department of Social Services Commissioner Steven Banks, Department of Homeless Services Administrator Joslyn Carter, and NYPD Deputy Chief Edward Thompson toured the facility, complete with two state-of-the-art classrooms and a 5,600 square-foot drill floor for tactical training.

Going above and beyond the New York State Division of Criminal Justice System (DCJS) requirements, the DHSPD Academy curriculum will give Peace Officers an introduction to homelessness, including conditions that contribute to homelessness, as well as cover new approaches to policing and DHS policy and practice. Recruits will also receive enhanced training in access control, crisis intervention, de-escalation, techniques for addressing mental health challenges, and best practices for maintaining and expanding partnerships with shelter staff. This Academy is now the central headquarters for DHSPD training.

Training of all in-service personnel will occur every year, so that officers are continually retrained and recertified in the most up-to-date standards, practices, policies, and techniques.

"Transforming a haphazard shelter system decades in the making means improving safety and security for clients and staff citywide through our partnership with the NYPD," said Department of Social Services Commissioner Steven Banks. "Thanks to the NYPD Management Team overseeing security at DHS facilities citywide, we’ve more than doubled the number of DHSPD Peace Officers protecting New Yorkers in need as they get back on their feet, implemented comprehensive new training curriculums, and standardized, professionalized, and strengthened deployment of security personnel at our shelters. Now, we're proud to introduce the DHSPD Training Academy at Bedford Atlantic, which will provide our Peace Officers with a dedicated headquarters and more effective training, while increasing the uniformed presence both inside and outside of this facility."

"As we implement the Mayor's plan to turn the tide on the citywide challenge of homelessness, our mission is to raise the bar across the board for New Yorkers in need—and central to that effort is safety and quality of life," said Department of Homeless Services Administrator Joslyn Carter. "Being homeless is not a crime—and homeless New Yorkers deserve the opportunity to be sheltered in high-quality facilities that are safe, secure, and dignified as they get back on their feet. Working in partnership with the NYPD and thanks to the NYPD Management Team at DHS, we are continually improving how we deliver services and security so that we can best support our homeless neighbors."

"Protecting the safety of DHS clients and staff is the number one priority for DHSPD Peace Officers—and this facility will provide our recruits with intensive training in the environment they will serve," said NYPD Deputy Chief Edward Thompson. "Through an enhanced 200-hour curriculum developed in partnership with the NYPD, covering topics including the conditions leading to homelessness, crisis intervention, and DHS policy and practice, DHSPD Peace Officers will be equipped with a comprehensive understanding of shelter security, further enabling them deliver on their daily mission to improve quality of life for New Yorkers experiencing homelessness."

As part of the Mayor's s 90-day review of homeless services, the NYPD conducted a comprehensive review of security in shelter facilities and began training all DHS security personnel in March 2016—and in January 2017, DHS formalized this partnership, implementing an NYPD management team to oversee and enhance security at DHS facilities, with the goal of improving quality of life for the homeless New Yorkers residing in shelter while they stabilize their lives, as well as staff. Thanks to this partnership, shelters are experiencing better policing, increased monitoring, and improved data, resulting in more effective reporting and enforcement.

Under the direction of the NYPD Management Team, DHS security personnel, including DHS Peace Officers, have received and are continuing to receive enhanced training from the NYPD on various security-related topics, including access control, understanding mental health and disorder, victimization and trauma, domestic violence, crisis communication, physical training, tactical training, and scenario-based training exercises. Under the oversight of the NYPD Management Team, the DHS Peace Officer staffing has more than doubled since the start of this Administration, with the force now nearly 900-strong, and new cadets in training. As part of this expanded staffing, the NYPD Management Team has hired and trained hundreds of new Peace Officers and promoted 10 supervisors up to the rank of inspector.

DHSPD Peace Officer recruits are selected in accordance with DCAS civil service guidelines with DSS/HRA support and trained in accordance with NYS Division of Criminal Justice System (DCJS) Peace Officer certification guidelines, which require 130 hours of training. NYPD developed the new 200-hour training curriculum for DHSPD Peace Officers in accordance with DCJS requirements and in partnership with DHS' NYPD Management Team.

The staffing of officers to a shelter is dynamic, determined on a case-by-case basis, based on individual security assessments of each facility. Prior to FY18, the ratio of supervisors to officers was 1:9, with the establishment of the NYPD Management Team and a reassessment of deployment the ratio has changed to 1:6.

DHSPD Bedford-Atlantic Training Academy Facts:

  • Facility:
    • The training facility consists of two floors: there are two classrooms on the first floor (1,350 sq. ft. each) and the tactical training room is located on the drill floor (5,625 sq. ft.).
    • The classrooms are equipped with 46 computers and large-screen televisions.
    • Locker rooms are located on the drill floor.
    • Renovations, which began in September 2017, cost about $150,000.
    • This space previously had different uses, but most recently was used as storage.
  • Training:
    • The first class is projected to begin mid-March 2018, with training courses provided on an ongoing basis throughout the year.
    • Additionally, in-service officers must be recertified each year, so the entire force will be retrained on an ongoing basis to ensure they’re equipped with the latest, most up-to-date standards, practices, and techniques.
    • The training is full time for a total of 8 weeks.

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About the Department of Homeless Services (DHS):

The Department of Homeless Services works to prevent homelessness before it occurs, address street homelessness, and assist New Yorkers in transitioning from shelter and street homelessness to permanent housing. DHS collaborates with non-profit partners to provide temporary shelter and services that homeless New Yorkers need to achieve and maintain housing permanency. In April 2016, Mayor de Blasio announced a major restructuring of homeless services in New York City by creating an integrated and streamlined management structure for DHS and the Human Resources Administration (HRA) under the Commissioner of the Department of Social Services. In February 2017, the Mayor announced his comprehensive plan to turn the tide on homelessness, neighborhood by neighborhood. The plan’s guiding principle is community and people first, and giving homeless New Yorkers, who come from every community across the five boroughs, the opportunity to be sheltered closer to their support networks and anchors of life, including schools, jobs, family, houses of worship, and communities they called home in order to more quickly stabilize their lives. Learn more about how DHS is turning the tide on homelessness, neighborhood by neighborhood, at nyc.gov/tide.