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B.S. in Police Science

The challenges and responsibilities of the modern police officer have undergone tremendous changes. 

Today’s public safety and private security officials must be prepared to meet the needs and expectations of an ever-changing, complex, and diverse society. The Bachelor of Science in Police Science program at Saint Mary’s prepares individuals to better meet these challenges. Together with other working professionals, students study the management, leadership, communication skills, and tools necessary to respond to societal needs.

The program also offers a generous credit transfer policy, including credit for Minnesota POST and military training. Courses are taught by experts in the criminal justice field.

Locations

This program is offered at our Twin Cities and Apple Valley locations.

Degree Requirements

Degree Requirements

A minimum of 122 semester credits are required for graduation with the bachelor of science degree from Saint Mary's University. All students must meet the general education credit requirements. A minimum of 36 credits is needed to complete the B.S. in Police Science program.

Required Police Science Courses 21 cr.
Required Capstone Course  3 cr.
Required Communication Courses  6 cr.
Elective Courses 6 cr.
Total Credits: Police Science Program
36 cr.

Required Police Science Courses: 21 cr.

PSCI302 Demographic Influences on Policing (3 cr.)

This course examines the ever changing landscape facing law enforcement today. It focuses on the changing role and societal expectations of law enforcement agencies in dealing with the challenges of an aging population, managing multiple generations, and the continued growth of new immigrant populations. The course also addresses the need for collaborative partnerships with all sectors of the community and government entities.

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Define ethnicity and articulate its connection to related culture, class, gender, and racism.
  2. Recognize and articulate dynamics and effects of racism, privilege, discrimination, and ignorance in our understanding of multiculturalism.
  3. Describe the typical immigration pathways and historical backgrounds of ethnic groups.
  4. Develop policies and practices to ensure organizational cultural awareness.
  5. Articulate inclusive means of communications for various groups of people.
  6. Utilize data bases to retrieve demographic information.
  7. Identify strategies to create partnerships, promote public trust, and enhance police legitimacy.

PSCI303 Application of Rules of Evidence (3 cr.)

This course examines the application of the rules of evidence based on constitutional, statutory, and jurisdictional matters. This course is designed to build on the basic skills of the officers. Methods of interviewing and methods of maintaining crime scene integrity are discussed.

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Understand each of the rules of evidence covered.
  2. Discuss any major differences between the state and federal rules of evidence.
  3. Understand the exclusionary rule and other key limitations on the admissibility of evidence.
  4. Read, understand, and summarize appellate court cases dealing with evidence rules and topics covered.
  5. Use appropriate investigative techniques for the specific crime.
  6. Use appropriate interviewing techniques for the specific crime.
  7. Understand crime scene integrity.
  8. Use appropriate terminology and paper work required for the criminal justice system.
     

PSCI306 Police Officer Wellness (3 cr.)

This course is designed to foster individual wellness through examining the effect of work environment upon officers. It examines post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and strategies for creating a sense of well-being.

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Understand the basic sources and processes of stress, with specific focus on the nature of work environment stresses.
  2. Identify approach and avoidance coping strategies, and understand appropriate use of coping strategies to police work situations and stresses.
  3. Discern the differences between acute stress incidents and chronic ongoing stresses and their impact in police officers' lives.
  4. Identify experiences which are considered to be traumatic that may lead to post-traumatic stress and possible post-traumatic stress disorder.
  5. Apply knowledge of stress and traumatic stress to developing an effective coping process for both acute and chronic stress.
  6. Understand the purposes and functions of organizational support for trauma support: defusings, critical incident stress debriefings, peer support, family assistance, referrals, and follow-up services.
  7. Develop lifelong coping strategies for situations and stresses.
  8. Plan strategies to overcome the potential negative effects of the law enforcement work environment.
     

PSCI400 21st Century Policing (3 cr.)

This course examines short and long-term strategies for law enforcement agencies to implement for the purpose of increasing public safety and confidence in law enforcement.  Recommendations regarding law enforcement practices as outlined by the U.S. Department of Justice are reviewed.  Also reviewed is the need for law enforcement to build trust and legitimacy in the communities in which they serve.  The course explores the importance of policy and oversight, technology and the use of social media, training and education, and officer wellness and safety.

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Recognize the historical intersection of community unrest and policing.
  2. Discuss the philosophical roots of community policing including Peel's Principles.
  3. Articulate the ideals of the six pillars of 21st Century Policing.
  4. Compare and contrast the key provisions of the guardian and warrior policing philosophy and how they impact use of force policies and training.
  5. Develop policies and practices to ensure organizational cultural awareness, transparency, and accountability.
  6. Articulate inclusive means of communications for various groups of people using social media.
  7. Identify strategies to reduce unconscious bias and enhance procedural justice.

PSCI401 Police Ethics (3 cr.)

This course reviews various ethical philosophies to be used as a foundation for analysis and discussion of current ethical issues facing peace officers. Strategies to deal with these issues, the effect of departmental expectations upon conduct, and the impact of officer behavior upon the community are discussed.

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Apply the law enforcement code of ethics to various situations.
  2. Understand the legal requirements of their profession.
  3. Understand the differences among laws, rules, regulations, and policies.
  4. Locate documents regarding laws, rules, regulations, and policies from their profession.
  5. Discuss ethical decision making strategies.
  6. Understand conflict of interest and strategies to deal with them.
  7. Apply laws, rules, regulations, and policies to specific situations.
  8. Recognize how ethical issues develop within police organizations.
  9. Recognize how ethical issues develop within social, political, and economic environments.
  10. Apply ethical concepts in resolving issues.
     

PSCI402 Emerging Techniques and Technologies of Policing (3 cr.)

This course in policing identifies techniques and technologies used for implementing community problem solving strategies.  Students develop strategies to meet community needs and utilizing the emerging techniques and technologies.

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Analyze the impact of cyber crime and its impact on local communities.
  2. Explore how social media may be of use to police operations.
  3. Ally intelligence-based policing to an identified problem.
  4. Compare models of regionalized police services.
  5. Develop a policy addressing the use of social media by police employees.
  6. Analyze evolving technologies and functions of American policing.
  7. Discuss innovations in investigative technology.
  8. Utilize computer databases to identify information for problem solving within the community.

 

PSCI403 Police Management and Leadership (3 cr.)

This course examines police leadership and management practices. It introduces selected management and leadership models and theories. This course also looks at the difference between management and leadership, formal and informal leadership, and the impact of effective leadership/management practices on police organizational environments.

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Distinguish the difference between police leadership and management.
  2. Examine the importance of police departments’ organizational mission, visions, and values.
  3. Analyze select police management theories and models.
  4. Identify effective police leadership and management practices relative to employee performance and motivation.
  5. Discuss the importance of both formal and informal leadership roles.
  6. Analyze the impact of effective leadership in developing ethical police organizational cultures.
     

Required Capstone Course: 3 cr.

PSCI490 Police Science Capstone (3 cr.)

This course integrates knowledge, skills, and tools developed in previous courses and provides an opportunity to apply them to a selected topic. Each student selects an issue currently confronting law enforcement professionals, clearly defines the question using appropriate references and resources, and creates a proposal which addresses the question. The proposal must be suitable for formal presentation to police administrators or a professional organization and the student presents the proposal to classmates.

Required Communication Courses: 6 cr.

Please note: Students may take COM309 or COM330.

COM309 Professional Writing (3 cr.)

This course provides strategies for developing a clear, concise professional writing style. A variety of writing formats are addressed. Research for professional documents, writing in an electronic environment, and collaborative writing are considered. Voice, style, audience, purpose, the writing process, and strategies for editing and revision are examined in the context of interpersonal and ethical dimensions.

Upon completion of the course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Write effectively in various forms of professional writing.
  2. Demonstrate writing in a professional environment.
  3. Exhibit a professional voice and writing style.
  4. Effectively incorporate relevant research into professional writing.
  5. Understand and apply the writing process to diverse audiences and purposes.
  6. Effectively incorporate elements of professional document design into print and electronic documents.
  7. Employ professional revision and editing skills.
     

COM310 Oral Communications (3 cr.)

Communication skills pertinent to organizational settings form the foundation of this course.  Effective methods for design and delivery of oral communication are examined. Other topics include communication styles, effective listening, interpersonal communication skills, dynamics of small group communication and persuasive speaking, all in the context of professional workplace communications.

Upon completion of the course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Demonstrate effective oral communication skills.
  2. Demonstrate effective and active listening skills.
  3. Recognize and adapt to differing communication styles.
  4. Demonstrate skill in interpersonal communication.
  5. Understand small group dynamics.
  6. Demonstrate persuasive speaking techniques.
  7. Effectively create and utilize graphics or other appropriate media in professional presentations.
  8. Deliver organized, professional informational and persuasive presentations.
     

COM330 Academic Writing (3 cr.)

Academic writing focuses on reflective, informational, and persuasive writing directed at an academic audience. Clear summarization of material, critical reading of texts, thoughtful and developed responses, effective secondary research, incorporation of sources into documents, appropriate document of research using APA format, and construction of persuasive and informative academic papers are addressed. The format and style of essays and research papers are explored. The course also emphasizes the development of a strong, formal academic voice and style.  The course is taught around a humanities theme, which assignments focus upon. Themes vary by semester.

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Critically read and engage texts.
  2. Express and explain, in a logical and developed manner, their responses to texts or ideas.
  3. Develop a clear thesis statement and support it with evidence.
  4. Develop a clear organization for a paper, and manage their ideas and sources within the paper.
  5. Conduct secondary research using library databases and other appropriate academic research.
  6. Apply APA format and documentation to a research paper.
  7. Write in a formal academic style and voice.
  8. Incorporate source materials effectively into their papers.
  9. Identify and follow all ethical requirements of using source materials for a paper or presentation.
     

 

Elective Courses: 6 cr.

PSCI305 Criminal Justice Statistics (3 cr.)

This course presents theory, procedures, and practical application for data formulation and analysis. The focus is on criminology and crime related statistics that measure central tendency and dispersion, probability, and critical thinking skills regarding analysis of data sets.

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Identify statistical methods that are typically used in creating law enforcement related statistics.
  2. Construct and interpret data distributions concerning law enforcement related raw data.
  3. Explain measures of central tendency and understand how their presentation impacts public perception and policy.
  4. Understand probability and probability distributions.
  5. Identify and demonstrate working with single and multi-variate data and analyze its validity.
  6. Critique criminal justice related statistics used to support assumptions and drive policy making decisions.
  7. Identify useful software and websites for analyzing data.
     

PSCI307 Workplace Violence: Prevention and Response (3 cr.)

This course examines workplace violence as it relates to organizations, employees and public safety responders. Topics include internal and external acts of violence, legal aspects, organizational influences, prevention, and response strategies.

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Define and identify various types of workplace violence.
  2. Relate history of workplace violence to cultural context of the organization.
  3. Describe the warning signs of violent behavior.
  4. Discuss legal issues associated with workplace violence.
  5. Evaluate workplace violence policies and procedures.
  6. Propose appropriate strategies for violence prevention, intervention and response.
     

PSCI308 Forensic Science in Crime Scene Investigation (3 cr.)

This course examines the use of forensic science methodologies in the examination of crime scenes. It addresses the use of forensic science to aid in the investigation of crimes. Students learn to apply these principles to conduct ethical and objective examinations of crime scenes. Foundational principles in the use of science in a variety of criminal investigations are discussed and applied.


Upon completion of the course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Explain basic principles of evidence and physical evidence exchange theory.
  2. Apply forensic investigative approaches to crime scenes.
  3. Discuss the various legal considerations related to crime scene investigation.
  4. Apply the principles of trace evidence, biological evidence, firearms evidence, toxicology, drug chemistry, and latent fingerprint evidence.
  5. Describe the use and application of forensics in property crime and high-tech crime investigations.
  6. Describe the use and application of forensic science disciplines in violent crime investigations.
  7. Analyze the ethical principles associated with forensic science.
  8. Evaluate emerging issues and trends in the field of forensic science.
     

PSCI407 Criminal Justice and the Media (3 cr.)

This course examines the roles and responsibilities of the media and law enforcement when reporting crime and responding to criminal justice issues. Students identify, analyze, and describe the media relationships of various criminal justice agencies, discuss data privacy laws, explore media influence, and understand its impact on policing.

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Develop an understanding of the relationship and interactions of various media outlets and law enforcement agencies.
  2. Understand the role of media organizations and how different mediums influence public opinion.
  3. Identify past and current issues facing the law enforcement community relating to image and public support.
  4. Analyze police-media relationships and develop responses to current public opinion issues.
  5. Evaluate various law enforcement media procedures and understand the importance of the public information officer.
  6. Analyze how law enforcement organizations and their effectiveness are related to media relationships and the perception of media relationships and the perception of crime.
  7. Understand Minnesota data privacy laws.

     

 

PSCI409 Violent Crimes Against the Person (3 cr.)

This course focuses on serial criminals, homicide, criminal sexual assault, and other violent crimes. Methods of investigation, preventative techniques, and access to advocacy groups are discussed.

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Examine and demonstrate a working knowledge of various Minnesota State Statutes related to violent crimes against the person.
  2. Understand the impact of national and local trends of violent crimes against the person on the individual and community.
  3. Access resources to aid in investigating various violent crimes.
  4. Identify preventative techniques for various violent crimes.
  5. Identify resources within the community to aid in the resolution of violent crimes.
     

PSCI410 Police Instructor Development (3 cr.)

This course focuses on instructor techniques for the delivery of police officer training. Topics include adult learning theory, Minnesota Police Officer Standards and Training Board rules and regulations, goals and objectives, testing and evaluation, methods of instruction, lesson plan design, presentation skills, use of instructional aids, and the role of the police instructor.

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of the principles of adult learning.
  2. Create instructional goals and instructional objectives.
  3. Design test that match the specific objectives of the lesson plans.
  4. Demonstrate knowledge of the various methods of instruction.
  5. Discuss the role of the police instructor.
  6. Design and produce instructional aids.
  7. Design lesson plans and conduct presentations using a variety of instructional techniques and visuals.
  8. Apply Minnesota Police Officer Standards and Training Board training rules and regulations.
     

PSCI412 Gangs in America (3 cr.)

This course examines Minnesota gangs as related to development, historical, and sociological concepts, impact on individuals and communities, and enforcement strategies for gang suppression.

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Describe the historical and sociological foundations of gangs.
  2. Identify and articulate the signs and symbols of various street gangs.
  3. Describe the rituals and spiritual dynamics of gang life.
  4. Analyze psychological and gender issues as they relate to gangs.
  5. Distinguish tagging from gang graffiti.
  6. Articulate the family dynamics of street gang life.
  7. Describe appropriate investigative techniques and laws for gang enforcement.
  8. Describe appropriate strategies and community resources for prevention, suppression, and intervention of gang activities.
  9. Identify and articulate early warning signs of gang involvement for parents, schools, and communities.
     

PSCI413 Legal Issues for Law Enforcement Leaders (3 cr.)

This course examines the legal issues that impact law enforcement leaders. Topics include human resource law, performance management, data practices, and liability issues, along with discussing proactive partnerships with unions, city councils, the community, and the courts.

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Explain law enforcement human resource practices and laws.
  2. Collaborate with both internal and external partners to identify and implement successful organizational strategies.
  3. Discuss risk assessment and liability issues.
  4. Outline processes for the security and release of data.
  5. Explain organizational reputation and brand protection.
  6. Recognize the important issues facing law enforcement leaders today: diminished resources, workforce diversity, ethics, quality, and change.
  7. Articulate the statutory rights of police officers in the State of Minnesota.
  8. Demonstrate an understanding of basic police officer rights to include Garrity and Tennessen advisories.
     

PSCI415 Special Investigations (3 cr.)

This course focuses on organized crime, gang activity, cyber crime, and terrorism. Methods of investigation and preventative techniques are discussed.

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Recognize behavior that indicates organized crime, gang activity, cyber crime, and terrorism.
  2. Understand the impact of national and local trends of organized crime, gang activity, cyber crimes, and terrorism.
  3. Examine and demonstrate a working knowledge of various state and federal laws relating to organized crime, gang activity, cyber crime, and terrorism.
  4. Develop strategies to reduce the impact of organized crime, gang activity, cyber crime, and terrorism.
  5. Use appropriate investigative techniques for organized crime, gang activity, cyber crime, and terrorism incidents.
     

 

PSCI416 Emergency Management Principles (3 cr.)

This course examines the fundamental elements of emergency management: mitigation, planning, response, and recovery. The function and interoperability of local, county, regional, and state programs are explored. Students plan, conduct, and participate in emergency management exercises.

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Conduct a community hazard analysis.
  2. Identify the responsibilities of government officials during an emergency.
  3. Describe mitigation opportunities for identifiable threats and hazards.
  4. Demonstrate knowledge of emergency management plans and how MNWALK applies to those plans.
  5. Identify the primary roles of different public safety agencies when responding to emergencies.
  6. Plan and conduct an emergency exercise with members of other agencies.
     

PSCI424 Forensic Photography (3 cr.)

This course examines the use of forensic photography in today's criminal justice system.  It addresses the history of photography and evolution of photographic equipment.   It explores the use and legalities of forensic photography in documenting evidence, and the difference between artistic and scientific photography.  Students apply technical and artistic principles to the photographic process.

Upon completion of the course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Chronicle the history of photography as it relates to the criminal justice system.
  2. Interpret laws and court decisions that impact forensic photography.
  3. Summarize the various legal and ethical considerations related to forensic photography.
  4. Evaluate emerging issues and trends in the field of forensic photography.
  5. Compare and contrast aesthetic and scientific photography.
  6. Create photographs suitable for legal and professional presentations.
  7. Evaluate photographs for use in the criminal justice system.

PSCI425 Violence in American Society (3 cr.)

This course examines violence in American society from a variety of perspectives.  The history and causal factors of situations of violence in America are analyzed.  This course also examines why violence is perpetuated in many environments and how societies are impacted.   This course is designed to develop and expand knowledge and techniques needed by law enforcement to investigate crimes pertaining to child sex abuse, stalking, family member abuse, family violence, and other forms of violence.

Upon completion of the course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the term cycle of violence.
  2. Recognize the historical perspective of violence in America.
  3. Analyze violence as it relates to the root causes of crime.
  4. Explain the role of the individual and community in the resolution of violence.
  5. Describe the impact of child sex abuse, stalking, family member abuse, and family violence relevant to the individual, family, and community.
  6. Identify resources within the community that may aid victims in the resolution of their victimization.
  7. Demonstrate a working knowledge of applicable laws related to crimes of violence.



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Connect With Us

tcadmission@smumn.edu
612-728-5100

Faculty

Larry Brubaker, M.A.

Bachelor of Science Program - Adjunct Program Assistant Professor

Dennis Conroy, Ph.D.

Bachelor of Science Programs - Adjunct Program Associate Professor

Andrew Evans, J.D.

BS in Police Science - Adjunct Assistant Professor

(651) 793-1108

aevans@smumn.edu

Christopher Gaiters, M.A.

Police Science Program - Adjunct Instructor

(612) 221-8899

cmgait06@smumn.edu

Scott Gerlicher, M.P.A.

BS in Police Science - Adjunct Instructor

(612) 290-3485

scott2238@comcast.net

John Harrington, M.A.

Police Science/BS - Adjunct Assistant Professor

Janee Harteau, M.A.

Police Science - Adjunct Program Assistant Professor

(612) 673-5643

hartejl0@gmail.com

Douglas Holtz, Sr., M.A.

Bachelor of Science Programs - Adjunct Program Instructor

Michael Katzovitz, M.A.

B S Police Science - Adjunct Instructor

Daniel Murphy, M.A.

BS in Police Science - Adjunct Program Instructor

(952) 828-4555

dpmurp08@smumn.edu

Kelly Nicholson, M.S.

Police Science - Adjunct Instructor

Robert Plesha, J.D.

Police Science - Adjunct Program Associate Professor

Brent Richter, M.A.

Police Science Program - Adjunct Instructor

Kristin Rollwagen, M.A.

BS in Police Science - Adjunct Instructor

(612) 673-2648

sk5068@aol.com

Paul Schnell, M.A.

MA in Public Safety Administration Program - Adjunct Assistant Professor

(651) 755-1520

ppschnell@gmail.com

John Serier, II, M.A.

Police Science - Adjunct Assistant Professor

Donald Winger, M.A.

BS in Police Science Program - Program Director

Brother Louis Hall, BLH248

Campus Box: # 28

(612) 728-5195

dwinger@smumn.edu

Donald Winger M.A.
Heidi Westby

Police Science - Adjunct Program Assistant Professor