SAN DIEGO — The San Diego Police Department broke ground Thursday on the nation’s first childcare center for police, said the City of San Diego.

Officials say this historic project is meant to provide better childcare options for law enforcement while customizing services to their specific needs.

According to the city, this program is led by the San Diego Police Officers Association with support from San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria.

“This first-of-its-kind childcare facility is part of our comprehensive effort to ensure SDPD is a great department to work for,” said Gloria. “With careers in law enforcement being more demanding than ever, this childcare center will help alleviate our officers’ childcare challenges so they can focus on keeping San Diego one of the safest big cities in America.”

The city says this childcare center will offer police officers extended hours to accommodate non-traditional work schedules and affordable rates that will be made possible through a public-private partnership. The center will provide childcare at 50% of the market rate to SDPD personnel.

“The often-uncertain schedules of police officers make it a challenge to coordinate daycare under the traditional model,” SDPD Chief David Nisleit said. “We are excited to bring this center to fruition as it will ease the burden of childcare to our officers. SDPD is proud to be pioneering this effort and paving the way for other law enforcement agencies to do the same.”

Since the initial announcement in 2022, the city says law enforcement agencies across the nation have reached out to San Diego for guidance to replicate this childcare model for other police departments.

According to officials, this project is funded for three years and includes a $3 million investment from state grants that was allocated in the Fiscal Year 2022 budget, along with other grants.