New Law Enforcement Courses Train Officers on Community Policing and Organizational Wellness

National University launches new courses to help policing to improve public safety and wellness in California communities

La Jolla, CA – National University, a nonprofit university celebrating its 50-year history of serving working adult learners, educators, and veterans, today announced the launch of two new courses that will train law enforcement personnel on the importance of community policing and organizational wellness. The University received two grants totaling $700,000 from the California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) to develop the new courses in an effort to enhance current community partnerships and to foster new ones.

“This past year has been an undeniably challenging time in the history of policing across our country, but with every challenge comes an opportunity,” said Shelley Zimmerman, a Chancellor appointee at National University and former San Diego Chief of Police. “As law enforcement leaders in our honorable and noble profession, it is critically important to provide best practice 21st Century training to increase the overall effectiveness of police services furthering a shared goal of healthier and safer communities.”

Zimmerman, a decorated law enforcement executive of 35 years and pioneer in police management as the first female chief in the San Diego Police Department’s history, joined National University following her tenure with the department. She teaches and guest lectures on a variety of public safety and leadership topics to expand educational opportunities for public safety professionals, including law enforcement officers and civilian personnel, through the University’s Public Safety Promise initiative.

Dr. Susan Zukowski, Vice President of Workforce Education Solutions Training and Development for National University System, lead the efforts to receive the grant and build the programs, engaging with law enforcement and community leaders and members to identify opportunities and challenges related to community policing and organizational wellness. “In developing these courses, we wanted to contribute to law enforcement and community building in a way that could have a lasting impact, to be a catalyst for long-term change.  We did this through listening to the voices of over 100 members of law enforcement and the community to try to infuse multiple perspectives into developing engaging curriculum.”

Faculty experts at National University in collaboration with law enforcement and The Institute for Violence, Abuse, and Trauma developed the course curriculum following the statewide listening tour that included civic, religious, public health and civil rights groups.

Over the eight-hour course on community policing, California law enforcement personnel will learn fundamentals of community policing, an evidence-based theory of law enforcement focused on building proactive and collaborative relationships between the civilian community and law enforcement agencies. During the nine-hour program on organizational wellness, participants will learn to apply these practices through real-world scenarios and receive training on wellness issues that affect interactions with members of the community and within agencies, such as mental health, unconscious bias, and the impact of poverty, violence, and trauma in the community.

Coursework will be conducted through self-paced, asynchronous courses, and participants will be able to select live sessions that are convenient for them, making the course more accessible to active-duty law enforcement officers with complex schedules.

“This initiative is a powerful example of how we can meet the complex training needs of public service professionals, while contributing to the health and well-being of the very communities they serve,” said Chris Graham, president of Workforce Education Solutions at National University System. “Developed with guidance from law enforcement professionals and public health experts, it will bring real-world and relevant training to hundreds of California police officers.”

About National University:

National University (NU), a veteran-founded nonprofit, has been dedicated to meeting the needs of hard-working adults by providing accessible, affordable, achievable higher education opportunities since 1971. As San Diego’s largest private nonprofit university, NU offers over 75 online and on-campus programs and flexible four-week courses designed to help students reach their goals while balancing busy lives. Since its founding, the NU community has grown to over 25,000 students and 180,000 alumni around the globe, many of whom serve in helping industries such as business, education, health care, cybersecurity, and law and criminal justice. Learn more at NU.edu.

About the National University System

The National University System (NUS) is a network of accredited nonprofit education institutions serving a diverse population of students including Pre-K-12 students and working professionals. NUS higher-education institutions serve more than 45,000 students through National University, Northcentral University, and City University of Seattle. NUS education-focused initiatives include Workforce Education Solutions and the Sanford Programs. Learn more at nusystem.org.