Skip to Content Request Info

Start Your Career in Public Safety!

Start Your Career in Public Safety!

Earn Your Online Bachelor’s in Public Safety

If you are wired to run into the fray when everyone else is running from it; if you have a burning need to see justice prevail and make the world a better place to live; if you want to lead the charge for peace and safety, whether on the front lines or behind the scenes – then you are likely well-suited for law enforcement jobs and public safety jobs. Now more than ever, the world needs good men and women who are called to serve in the public safety arena, and in the current climate, the right training is critical to successfully realizing that calling. Employers know that also, which is why more and more are requiring a college education for entering or moving up in public safety professions. 

Ottawa University offers the training you need. Our bachelor’s degree in public safety, with concentrations in law enforcement and public safety leadership, is uniquely designed to prepare you for becoming a new or continuing professionally in emergency management, fire protection, emergency medical response, public health, law enforcement, public safety, or environmental health and safety.

What Will You Learn with a Degree in Public Safety?

OU’s online safety degree is a comprehensive public safety and security degree that encompasses law enforcement training and broader public safety preparation. It was specifically designed in partnership with both public safety administration and law enforcement professionals to make students career-ready for a variety of law enforcement jobs and public safety jobs. The program equips students to:

  • improve the application of social justice
  • protect individual rights
  • safeguard the principles and legal foundations of the public safety profession
  • analyze community expectations from the response, engagement, and aftermath phases of both fluid and static national, state, and local incidents
  • examine leadership related to the operations and responsibilities of complex public safety organizations in light of theoretical, societal, judicial, and practical issues
  • analyze the causes of deviant behavior in public safety encounters within the contexts of current issues such as poverty, racial and religious tensions, ethnicity, human relations, urban expansion, and ever-changing public policy
  • evaluate scientific advances and new technologies that support effective crime detection, intervention, and prevention
  • develop increased empathy and a greater understanding of community dynamics and diversity
  • study critical thinking techniques
  • explore best practice problem-solving models
  • enhance listening and communication skills

Foundation Courses in Public Safety

Following completion of all general courses, the core courses within Ottawa University’s online public safety degree provide students with a solid foundation for varied service in the public safety sector. The foundation courses for law enforcement training and safety and security preparation include:

  • Servant Leadership in Public Safety

Provides public safety leaders with the knowledge, skills, and tools for effective leadership within their chosen fields, with a focus on the Servant Leadership model.

  • Ethics, Liabilities, and Rights in Public Safety

Examines ethics from a public safety professional perspective, including the application of ethical theories. Academic themes include public safety prudence, recuperative and restorative justice, legal applications and procedures, sentencing, research, and community crime control policies.

  • Individual Rights: Practices and Systems in Public Safety

Explores legal theory behind individual rights, along with their practices and systems application as connected to the public safety profession. Examines the U.S. constitution as it relates to the public safety function, including statutory law and judicial decisions governing the areas of arrest, search and seizure, interrogations and confessions, self-incrimination, and other constitutional guarantees.

  • Race, Crime, & Social Policy

Looks at prejudice, discrimination, systems, and structures of oppression and their effects on public safety in a changing society. Analyzes the significance of race, class, and ethnicity to crime perpetration and criminal justice processing; the role of racism in the treatment of minorities by various components of the criminal justice system; and the evolving public policy resulting from increases in immigration.

  • Communication Skills for Public Safety Professionals

Examines the importance of acquiring proficient knowledge of and utilization of effective communication skills while working within the public safety profession. Includes a combination of instructional and interactive learning techniques designed to enhance students’ knowledge and understanding of the importance of communication.

  • Victimology Understanding for Public Safety

Examines the concept of victimology and provides information on the fears, emotional distress, physical suffering, and financial loss suffered by victims and witnesses of crime. Explores victimization, including relations between victims and offenders, as well as interactions between victims and the criminal justice system.

  • Seminar in Applied Public Safety - Leadership Capstone Course

Capstone course that guides students in the integration of functional content areas in the field of public safety. Addresses public safety issues and applies public safety theories and techniques to problems and cases through a process of decision-making that demonstrates achievement of the learning outcomes.

Concentration Areas within a Public Safety Degree

Beyond the foundation courses of Ottawa University’s public safety and security degree, two concentration options provide more targeted training for law enforcement jobs and public safety jobs.

The concentration for law enforcement training consists of three courses:

  • Examination of Criminal Justice

Designed to reinforce officers’ knowledge and understanding of all facets of the criminal justice system, sub-systems, and how they interrelate (police, defense, and prosecuting attorneys, courts, institutional corrections, community-based corrections, and juvenile justice system.)

  • Mental Illness Responses and Strategies

Develops an understanding of the observable symptoms in common types of mental illness and associated criminal behavior. Explores proper techniques for handling and transporting people with mental illness and the legal procedures for both emergency and routine mental illness-related cases.

  • Policing in Today's Communities

Focuses particularly on police response to the community, recognizing that delivery of police services is much more than law enforcement. Stresses the skills of communication, intervention, negotiation, and mediation. Ties directly to the expectation that police maintain order and engage in conflict resolution. Uses role-playing and case studies to enhance the learning experience.​

Concentration Courses for Public Safety Leadership 

  • Public Safety Administration

Examines public safety administration and organizational problem solving, including the concept that leaders must become skilled in navigating the “change process,” which drives organizational vision and assists in its ability to be implemented within the culture of an organization.

  • Leadership Issues and the Firstline Supervisor

Examines first-line supervision, with a progression to mid-level and executive-level leadership. Applies popular governance and leadership theories to current issues in the public safety fields, such as homeland security, crisis leadership, implementing technology innovations, police ethics, and integrity.

  • Human Resources for Public Safety

Examines the larger human resources functions of recruitment, hiring, retention, and training for the public safety agency sector. Focuses on larger human relations planning processes within the context of the general movement to “reform” public safety agencies and improve performance to serve communities more effectively and enhance the public good.

Public Safety Jobs

If you already have a career in public safety or law enforcement, OU’s public safety and security degree will position you to take on a role with greater responsibility. On the other hand, if you are just entering the field, you will be well-qualified to begin a career on the fast track for upward mobility. Please keep in mind that some of these jobs may require additional training before employment or have other criteria you must meet. With that said, some of the law enforcement jobs or public safety jobs that you might seek after completing OU’s online safety degree include:

  • Law enforcement officer - protects lives and property
  • Detective - gathers facts and collects evidence of possible crimes
  • Chief security officer - highest-level executive directly responsible for an organization's overall security function
  • Emergency management director - prepares plans and procedures for responding to natural disasters or other emergencies; helps lead the response during and after emergencies
  • Correctional officer - oversees those who have been arrested and are awaiting trial or who have been sentenced to serve time in jail or prison
  • Occupational health and safety specialist - collect data on and analyze many types of work environments and work procedures
  • Firefighter - controls and puts out fires and responds to emergencies where life, property, or the environment is at risk
  • Emergency medical technician - responds to emergency calls, performing medical services, and transporting patients to medical facilities
  • Probation officer - supervises people placed on probation
  • Correctional treatment specialists - develop rehabilitation plans for people on probation or parole
  • Security guard/Gaming surveillance officer - patrols and protects property from illegal activity
  • Social and community service manager - coordinates with social service programs and community organizations.
  • Dispatcher - answers emergency and non-emergency calls

Other jobs might include forensic science technician, secret service, or the military.

At Ottawa University, we value you and the service you aspire to provide. If you’re ready to make a difference by serving in public safety at the local, state, or national level, contact an advisor today to enroll in our bachelor’s degree in public safety. Your advisor can also help determine if you qualify for earned credit from any past training or experience.  Ottawa University's accelerated online degrees consider your busy life and help you transition into your desired career as quickly as possible. Keep in mind that OU has convenient locations in Kansas City, Milwaukee, and Phoenix, as well. We look forward to meeting your educational needs soon.

See Also:

8 Essential Leadership Skills for Career Advancement

What are the Benefits of a Nonprofit University?

When is it Time to Change Careers?

Posted: 10/05/2021 by OU Online
Back to top