MINNEAPOLIS — In conjunction with Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.), the Bureau of Justice Assistance and the U.S. Department of Justice, Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota hosted a three-day Traumas of Law Enforcement training Feb. 24-26 at its University Center in Minneapolis.

CAPTION: Attendees listen intently during the first day of the Traumas of Law Enforcement training event.

Presenter Happy Snodgrass speaks to the audience during the event's first day

Presenter Happy Snodgrass speaks to the audience during the event’s first day

“We jumped at the opportunity to host this event because of the quality of the programming and the benefit to current and former Saint Mary’s students,” said Don Winger, program director for the B.S. in Police Science at Saint Mary’s. “This event is for people who work in or are friends and family members of those in law enforcement, fire service or emergency medical response.”

Retired law enforcement professional Dr. Dennis Conroy M ’82 was a key presenter at the event. Conroy, who published his new book titled Surviving a Law Enforcement Career in January, spent more than 30 years with the Saint Paul Police Department in a variety of roles. He also practiced for several years as a licensed psychologist, specializing in counseling law enforcement officers on stress management and trauma response. Conroy has taught college courses for 25 years, including as an adjunct instructor with Saint Mary’s University.

“Dennis Conroy was one of the first — if not the first — person in the country to be a practicing psychologist and a working police officer. As a senior commander with the Saint Paul Police, I made a lot of referrals to Dennis,” Winger said. “I know that he’s helped a number of people.”

The event focused on how police officers and others in similar high-stress service professions can manage the day-to-day stress of jobs that are often very demanding, both physically and emotionally.

C.O.P.S. has presented this event to more than 10,000 people from the law enforcement industry by offering it in about seven locations throughout the nation each year. About 150 people attended the Minneapolis event, which was supported by grants from the Department of Justice.

Saint Mary’s was an ideal host for this event because of its strong criminal justice and counseling programs. At the undergraduate level, Saint Mary’s offers bachelor of arts degrees in criminal justice and psychology at its residential undergraduate campus in Winona. For working adults throughout the state, the university offers bachelor’s completion and graduate degrees in police science and public safety as well as counseling and psychology. Recently the university decided to expand its B.S. in Police Science program by also offering it in Rochester. Also new to this program are three specialization options: Forensic Investigations, Management, and Security Management (available in the Twin Cities locations). More program information is available online at www.smumn.edu.

Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota awakens, nurtures, and empowers learners to ethical lives of service and leadership. A private Lasallian Catholic institution, Saint Mary’s offers comprehensive undergraduate and graduate programs. About 1,200 students are enrolled in the residential undergraduate college in Winona, established in 1912. Approximately 4,300 students  are enrolled in the schools of graduate and professional programs, which offers master’s and  doctoral degrees, as well as bachelor’s degree completion, certificate and specialist programs. The university delivers education to adults through campuses in Winona, Minneapolis and Nairobi, Kenya; centers in Apple Valley, Rochester and Oakdale; and at numerous other locations in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Jamaica. Saint Mary’s is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association.


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