Police & Public Safety Section

The authors plan for the upcoming PPSS mini-conference and announce the inclusion to the American Board of Police & Public Safety Psychology
By Casey O. Stewart, PsyD, ABPP, PsyD

What is happening with the Div. 18 Police and Public Safety Section?

ABPP recognizes Police & Public Safety Psychology as the 14th specialty board-American Board of Police & Public Safety (ABPPSP). Next step: recognition by APA as a specialty.

Police & Public Safety Psychology (PPSP) has been recognized by the APA CRSPPP as a proficiency and recently joined ABPP as the 14th specialty board as the American Board of Police & Public Safety Psychology (ABPPSP). It is clear to us that PPSP is a distinct area of practice with published functional and foundational competencies that serve what has long been identified as a unique population (law enforcement and public safety organizations and personnel) with very specific challenges and problems (e.g., national security, use of force in a civilian population, responding to the needs of the seriously mentally ill). Through the existence of undergraduate, graduate and post-doctoral training programs/fellowships, the specialized knowledge base and skills required for competency in the field can be acquired. Importantly, the numerous refereed publications, handbooks, practice guidelines and organizations offering specialty continuing education function to facilitate continued competence and not only protect the public, but ensure the highest level of services. ABPPSP recently petitioned APA for recognition of Police & Public Safety Psychology as a specialty. Div. 18, PPSS unequivocally recommends that the request for recognition of Police & Public Safety Psychology as a specialty be approved. Please show your support by posting a public comment.

PPSS 2012 Annual Mini-Conference

Every year, PPSS puts on a day-long mini-conference on the day before the APA convention kicks off. This year, the PPSS mini-conference is Wednesday, August 1, 2012, in Orlando, Fla. The presenters are a dynamic group of national experts from academia to government justice departments and the planned program includes topics such as legal updates in public safety psychology, sleep disorders and shift work, police integrity, and domestic violence issues. The mini-conference will offer reduced rates for students. Relatedly, there were several police and public safety related presentations that were accepted for the APA convention this year, ranging from "Crisis Intervention Teams in Law Enforcement" to "Clinical, Ethical, and Legal Issues in Performing Psychological Fitness-for-Duty Evaluations."

PPSS Membership Drive

The section has enjoyed a continued increase in membership over the years. Consistent with the divisions goals, we have recently turned our focus to further increasing membership through a three-year campaign that includes increasing our visibility via publications and presentations, enlisting veteran public safety psychologists to mentor newly licensed psychologists and psychologist residents, and enlisting early career psychologists and student members of PPSS to reach out and encourage those students and other professionals who are not currently members to join. This is a broad effort that reflects the demand for providers in this unique area of public service.


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