Anthony Papa; Police Officer to Professor

By Devyn King

Staff Reporter

  After 20 years of being a part of the New York Police Department, Anthony Papa retired as a Lieutenant from the Bronx Detective Bureau, changed his path and is now a professor at Sacred Heart University. He shares the knowledge he has learned over the years as an officer to students on campus majoring in Criminal Justice.

According to Papa, being a part of the NYPD was a great experience. He had to opportunity to see and do a lot of different things, gain significant experience, meet a lot of people, and form many good relationships with other officers on the force that he is still friends with today.

Papa went to law school in New York during his time as a NYPD officer because he knew that after 20 years, he could retire from the police department, and wanted to have a job lined up.

“I became a tactics instructor in the police academy for a couple of years, and that gave me a state certification. With that state certification, I started teaching for private security firms in N.Y. part time,” said Papa. “Security guards need a certain amount of professional hours in the classroom, so I would go teach some of the classes on law, or whatever they needed me for.”

The firm that Papa worked for after he retired eventually went out of business, leading him to becoming an instructor at a college in Westchester, New York, where he was Chair of Department in Criminal Justice.

He then began teaching at Sacred Heart University in Sept. 2010, and was appointed in Nov. 2018 by the Dean to Program Director of the Graduate Criminal Justice program.

“In having that experience, you can relate to a lot of the material and it keeps it interesting in the class,” said Papa.

Student evaluations on professor Papa have proven that his personal experiences are beneficial to their learning and make the class more interesting.

“I liked how he made the information relatable to us and used actual examples of his experiences,” said Freshman Lexi Kavarsky, a student that took Intro to Criminal Justice with Professor Papa. “The real-life examples he used in his lessons helped me remember the information I was being taught.”

Papa’s most memorable experience working in the NYPD was the time of 9/11.

“That was a day like no other. When the building collapsed it was horrendous and very scary. We thought more planes were coming in. I know people that died there, and I was very fortunate,” said Papa.

After two days, he was moved to the Bereavement center and began to collect DNA to identify the bodies lost when the buildings collapsed.

“The most positive thing that has come out of this is the friendships I have made over the years, and experiences I have gained,” said Papa.

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