Northwestern University Center for Public Safety

By Salcedo, Yesenia | Law & Order, April 2011 | Go to article overview

Northwestern University Center for Public Safety


Salcedo, Yesenia, Law & Order


Enhancing Professional Standards Since 1936

Since its founding in 1936, Northwestern University's Center for Public Safety (NUCPS) has conducted more than 6,500 courses and taught more than 200,000 students from all 50 states and 38 foreign countries. Ln fact, NUCPS has taught more professionals in law enforcement and related fields than the next four largest of such U.S. institutions combined.

In addition to offering classes on its Northwestern University campus in Evanston, 111., NUCPS has the ability to retrofit any of its programs to meet any agency's specific needs at the location of their choice through its experience in delivering customized programs and courses.

NUCPS was founded as the Traffic Institute by an Evanston police commander with a vision. At that time, the number of motor vehicle deaths and injuries was skyrocketing, and there was little or no information published on roadway safety or crash investigations. Determined to save lives, Commander Franklin M. Kreml began to collect data on traffic crash hot spots and began a program to teach crash investigation and roadway safety.

Today the crash investigation program consists of a series of classes totaling about six weeks in topics ranging from "Crash Investigation" and "Crash Reconstruction," to "Math and Physics Workshop for Crash Reconstruction." The classes are geared toward police officers, but many transportation engineers, insurance adjusters and crash investigators from private firms also take the classes. Classes in each part of the series range from three to 10 days and cost between $500 to around $1,000.

NUCPS is known for its Traffic Collision Investigation textbook, which is a manual that set the standard for traffic crash investigation. It was the first of its kind when written in 1940 and continues to be published today.

The Traffic Institute quickly became the world leader in traffic crash investigation and prevention and has maintained that reputation ever since. This year the school is celebrating 75 years of education, and the school's flagship program is its School of Police Staff and Command (SPSC), which is an intensive 10-week program that prepares law enforcement managers for senior positions by combining academic principles with practical applications.

"SPSC is a command level program that teaches officers at the command level all the skills, theories and techniques needed to be a successful law enforcement administrator," said Jason Stamps, the director of the professional training division at Northwestern University's Center for Public Safety. …

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