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History

The Division of Public Safety Leadership (PSL) began in 1994 as the Police Executive Leadership Program (PELP). This unique program, built on a demanding leadership, liberal arts, and humanities curriculum, was begun by Dean Emeritus Stanley C. Gabor who, at the time, led the Johns Hopkins University School of Continuing Studies. Beginning with a single cohort group of 24 police executives, PSL currently sponsors numerous cohort classes, in multiple locations, with a student population representing law enforcement, fire/EMS, emergency management, public health, transit, campus safety, private security, the intelligence community, and the military.

From its inception, PSL has been at the forefront in preparing current and future executives to deal successfully with the routine and complex issues associated with public safety and sustaining community well being. To this end, the Division provides graduate, undergraduate, and noncredit education designed to advance excellence in leadership. The Division has won national awards and recognition for its academic programs, which include the Master of Science and Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership and Master of Science in Intelligence Analysis. The Division’s faculty is highly diverse, with academic and professional backgrounds in business, philosophy, education, law enforcement, law, psychology, intelligence analysis, physics, and medicine.

Today, over 1,000 students have graduated from these programs. PSL Alumni have advanced to head law enforcement agencies in over 70 jurisdictions throughout the United States. Other graduates have led major fire departments and become leaders in federal agencies, intelligence organizations, and the military.

PSL provides support and technical assistance to organizations nationwide, conducts research, and plays a key role in centers of excellence, work groups, and boards and commissions on behalf of federal, state, and local agencies. The Division is home to the Maryland Chiefs of Police Association (MCPA).

The Division has received over $15 million from federal and state funders to conduct applied and empirical research, establish centers and programs, and provide direct support to public safety agencies. PSL played a key role in Johns Hopkins University becoming a Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence PACER. The Department of Justice awarded JHU $1 million to establish the Mid-Atlantic Regional Community Policing Institute (MARCPI). This 17-agency partnership housed at JHU, trained over 20,000 police personnel, community leaders, non profit organizations and other government agencies in a six-year period.