Our Advanced Practice Certificate in Fundamentals of Police Psychology provides mental health professionals with foundational knowledge and skills to work with law enforcement and public safety personnel in multiple contexts, including private practice, law enforcement agencies, and health care.
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Pathway to Master’s
The credits from this certificate coursework can be applied toward earning your Master of Science Degree in Forensic Behavioral Science or Forensic Leadership Administration.
Our Certificate in Conflict Resolution and Peace Studies is offered fully online. All classes and coursework can be completed virtually, allowing flexibility with your schedule.
Vital Work at a Vital Time
You will be trained to provide psychological support services to law enforcement personnel at a time when societal need for this expertise has never been more vital.
Course One: Introduction to Police and Public Safety Psychology
This course provides an introduction to and overview of the field of police and public safety psychology, examining the role of the police psychologist, the psychological impact of police work on the individual officer, and the issues involved in providing psychological services to officers and law enforcement agencies. It covers the many and diverse roles of the police psychologist and the legal, ethical and practical considerations inherent in these roles. Survey the history of police psychology and its evolution to its current state. Includes an examination of the special concerns when providing psychological services to police officers (and all law enforcement personnel and emergency service workers) including confidentiality, mandatory referrals and weapons removal/retention. Also includes diverse perspectives on the role of the police psychologist by various individuals within and outside the law enforcement community.
Course Two: Understanding the Culture of Law Enforcement
The course explores the unique culture of police and sheriff’s departments, including the differentiation between working custody versus working patrol; common lapses in judgment and common pitfalls that can negatively affect new officers; differences and dynamics specific to sworn versus civilian law enforcement employees; elements of effective interactions with the public and the press. The course will also explore the basics of teaching and consulting in the law enforcement community: common pitfalls for the psychologist.
Course Three: Providing Psychological Support Services to Law Enforcement Personnel
This course will provide an overview of the intervention domain of police psychology. Topics will include the difference between ‘in-house’ and ‘out-of-house’ or contract psychological services; the stressors unique to first responders and law enforcement personnel and the cultures in which they work; the unique ethical considerations which must be considered when providing psychological services to law enforcement personnel including voluntary vs. mandatory counseling, confidentiality, and safety concerns; the critical incidents that law enforcement personnel encounter including officer involved shootings, mass casualty incidents, public mistrust, homicides, undercover work, child abuse, etc.; an understanding of critical incident stress debriefings and defusings, early intervention strategies, and whether they should be recommended or mandatory; an understanding of multiple intervention/counseling techniques including individual therapy, couples counseling, family therapy and group interventions. The course explores the value of adjunctive services such as those provided by chaplains, peer counseling programs, employee assistance programs for the treatment of substance use/abuse and early prevention programs.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the modality of this program?
The Certificate in Fundamentals of Police Psychology program is offered fully online. All classes and coursework can be completed virtually, allowing you flexibility with your schedule.
What scholarship and financial aid options are available to me?
Private and public scholarships can help you meet the cost of your education. Alliant International University is pleased to be able to offer a significant number of institutional scholarships for many of our students. Learn more about these scholarship opportunities here. Additional Financial aid is available for those who qualify in the form of loans, grants, federal work study, and military aid. Learn more in our Financial Options Guide.
Degree Campus Locations
The Institute’s Certificate Programs are online. Explore all of our programs below.
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The California School of Forensic Studies is dedicated to graduating rigorously educated and trained professionals who impact society, public opinion, and policy by applying science in the service of preventing, investigating, and mitigating conflict and violence.