San Antonio Departments Receive Trauma Informed Care Certification

Published on February 16, 2024

San Antonio Police Department Logo  City of San Antonio Metropolitan Health District Logo

City of San Antonio Departments Receive Trauma Informed Care Certification

SAN ANTONIO (February 16, 2024) – The City of San Antonio proudly announces that it has received a Level 1 Foundational Trauma Informed Care Organizational Certification for the San Antonio Police Department (SAPD) and City of San Antonio Metropolitan Health District (Metro Health). 

A trauma informed care organization works to build resilience and empower individuals by providing physical, psychological, and emotional support through the principles of safety, trustworthiness, choice, collaboration, and empowerment. The certification process involved soliciting and addressing employee feedback, trainings, education amongst staff members, and site visits. The Ecumenical Center, the certifying entity for the South Texas Trauma Informed Care Consortium, certified both City departments in late 2023.

“The Level 1 Certification is a testament to the City’s commitment in serving our community,” City Manager Erik Walsh said. “By providing employees with the necessary tools and training to identify unique situations they encounter daily, we are able to improve resident services. I want to extend my gratitude to Deputy City Manager Maria Villagomez, Police Chief William McManus, Dr. Claude A. Jacob, the Ecumenical Center, and their teams for their tireless efforts in ensuring our organization is certified.”

The Center of Excellence for Trauma Informed Care team serves as a unit at Metro Health to implement the certification process for all City departments. SAPD is the first law enforcement agency in the nation to attain the trauma informed care certification process with the support of Metro Health’s Center of Excellence team. 

"As the certifying body for the Trauma Informed Care Organization Certification, The Ecumenical Center congratulates both Metro Health and the San Antonio Police Department on becoming the first two city organizations to achieve Level 1 Trauma Informed Care Certification," Mary Beth Fisk, President & CEO of the Ecumenical Center said. "This certification demonstrates the organization’s commitment to safety, trustworthiness, and collaboration for both internal and external consumers.”    

SAPD and Metro Health acknowledge the impact of trauma on its staff by creating an atmosphere of safety, resiliency, and empowerment through cross-collaborations and trauma informed care approaches. In fact, both departments recognized the need for the creation of dedicated spaces at SAPD substations, which provide a safe and welcoming environment to those who are experiencing crises. The rooms bring a safe and supportive setting, including a comfortable sitting area, beverages, and a play area for children. 

The City aspires to have its 40+ departments obtain a Level 1 Foundational Trauma Informed Care Organizational Certification by fiscal year 2026. To learn more, the community can visit The Ecumenical Center’s website.