The Academy Can Help Teams in All Areas of Zoo and Aquarium Operations

By Angelica Chavez

Security officers at the San Diego Zoo undergo extensive year-round training to always be aware of any changes to security and safety policies and procedures. In the past, this training was done manually, and was both time- and paperwork-intensive for team members and supervisors. We knew our wildlife care and HR staffs were already using the Academy for training, professional development, and educational purposes. I wondered if our team could benefit from using the Academy for our personnel training needs. This seemed to make sense, especially since our security policies are confidential and sensitive in nature. A site customized for security officers turned out to be the perfect solution.

A Zoo Security Operations Academy site was created, to provide training in a timely manner, while allowing access to authorized personnel only. Offering the training in an online platform allows security officers to receive certificates of completion, thus forgoing the time-consuming review and feedback process previously required from supervisors. Best of all, the online training allowed the Security department to be part of the Zoo's sustainability plans by putting a stop to our long-term printing and filing behaviors, and utilizing technology to document training progress and completion.

I believe the use of the Academy platform has provided extreme value to the Security department. It improved the effectiveness of our training procedures, and has saved us a tremendous amount of time. 

If you are interested in adding a team, group, or additional site to your Academy membership, please contact us at

Angelica Chavez is a senior security manager on the San Diego Zoo Security Team.