Building Heroes: Santa Fe College’s Institute of Public Safety

Building Heroes: Santa Fe College’s Institute of Public Safety

Students at the Institute of Public Safety perform hands-on training on a simulated bicyclist who has fallen outside.

January 25, 2024 – Thomas Ackerman, Director of Santa Fe College’s (SF) Institute of Public Safety, wants to clear up a common misconception.

“The Institute of Public Safety (IPS) does not offer law programs,” Ackerman said. “We offer public safety certificate and degree programs.”

What exactly does the IPS offer? Why are IPS programs important? Read on to learn more about how SF helps students build lifelong careers.

Exploring SF’s IPS Programs

SF’s Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), paramedic, law enforcement officer, correctional officer, and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) degree programs are offered at the Kirkpatrick Center, which is located on 160 acres in Northeast Gainesville, near the Gainesville Regional Airport. The Criminal Justice Technology degree program falls under the IPS umbrella via courses at the Northwest Campus and online.

The Kirkpatrick Center is one of the most innovative and high-tech simulation-based training facilities in the United States. The center’s Main Street Complex includes a fully operational replica of a small town, which gives law enforcement, EMT and paramedic trainees a realistic scenario-based training exercise area. Trainees can hone their skills in the variety of environments they will encounter in their respective fields.

The Role of SF’s IPS Programs

IPS programs accommodate the growing need for skilled public safety personnel in Florida and across the country. For instance, the Emergency Medical Technician program prepares students for a career caring for the sick or injured in emergency medical situations. Meanwhile, the Law Enforcement Officer basic recruit training program prepares students for a career in law enforcement to protect the lives and property of fellow citizens.

“We also offer continuing professional education and training for sworn law enforcement and correctional officers,” Ackerman said. Ongoing training is important to make sure law enforcement and correctional officers are ready, flexible and have the skills to handle the challenges of their jobs in nearly any environment.

Serve Your Community Today

The IPS at SF specializes in public safety certificate and degree programs rather than traditional law programs. These programs help meet the increasing demand for skilled personnel. IPS students can prepare themselves for impactful careers while public safety professionals can develop their skills in an ever-taxing world.

Learn more about SF’s Institute of Public Safety: