College of Arts and Sciences

Criminal Justice and Public Safety Institute

History

When 9/11 Commission member John F. Lehman ’64 (B.S.), Ph.D, visited Saint Joseph's University in September 2005 to discuss the Commission’s findings from the September 11 attacks, he strongly urged his audience to take action.

“We must do something with a unity of purpose, we must be prepared and we must prevent something like this from ever happening again,” he warned. “We don’t have time to chew on the problem. We need to focus our efforts now. There are very manageable things we can do, and if we take a stand, we will prevail.”

Pooling University resources in the spirit of collaboration and exigency, Graduate Criminal Justice Director, Pat Griffin took Lehman’s call to action to heart and helped Saint Joseph's create the Criminal Justice and Public Safety Institute, which will house the graduate programs in criminal justice, public safety management, homeland security and environmental protection safety management.

Since their inception in 1980, the criminal justice and public safety programs have developed a solid reputation within the law enforcement and public safety communities. Housed in the College of Arts & Sciences, the master’s in criminal justice degree has expanded over the years to address the evolving face of legal and law enforcement issues by developing a curriculum that emphasizes research and theory.

The master’s in public safety management has taught emergency professionals to be more resourceful managers, to be physically capable of handling a disaster, better equipped to administer incident response, and work to prevent future catastrophes.