By Joy S. Jones
This summer, Jeff Goltz, director, public safety, will receive the Presidential Award for his work on the criminal justice transformation project from the Ana G. Méndez University System in Puerto Rico.
In August 2010, CJI entered into a criminal justice transformation partnership between the Central Florida criminal justice community and the Ana G. Méndez University System. As a result of the partnership, the Méndez University System has developed and implemented the Institute for Security and Protection (ISEP) in Puerto Rico.
ISEP is modeled after the training and education program offered at Valencia and offers contemporary academic training opportunities to municipal police officers and other law enforcement professionals.
“The partnership and the creation of ISEP has been a significant contributor to the creation of a new paradigm of criminal justice practices in Puerto Rico, an island experiencing extraordinary public safety issues,” Jeff states. “To date, 319 students have graduated from ISEP’s associate degree program and 353 are currently enrolled. Of these graduates, 180 are municipal police officers from 12 cities in Puerto Rico.”
Another project Jeff has worked on that is gaining traction is the current and future growth of public safety training and education at the College, now that the Central Florida Fire Institute (CFFI) is established within CJI.
“Currently, a team is crafting a proposal to create a School of Public Safety at the CJI facility and our vision is grand,” Jeff shares. “Through collaboration and partnerships, we hope to become a regional, national and international leader in public safety programming due to our reputation and resources in Central Florida.”
CJI underwent phase one of a reorganization process in February 2014, to accommodate the unprecedented growth the College is experiencing in the area of public safety training. During this phase, Jeff worked closely with the College’s most visionary members and program experts, while creating and strengthening partnerships with state and regional public safety professionals.
“Over the past year, I’ve had the great fortune to expand my knowledge of public safety beyond my foundation of law enforcement because of our strategic approach to establishing CFFI and the opportunity to expand the public safety vision and programs at the College.”
Added to that, an exclusive “direct connect” for public safety professionals to UCF’s criminal justice master’s degree program at Valencia was created in February 2014, when UCF approved the graduate certificate in “Criminal Justice Executive.”
“The resulting credit offerings will amplify our vision to develop a stronger relationship between academia and science (called “Science to Service”) and the Central Florida public safety practitioner.
Jeff is inspired by the transformational leadership of Valencia College President Sandy Shugart.
“His approach to vision, collaboration and excellence is extraordinary and these values spread throughout this vast institution, creating a culture I have never experienced before. In turn, our culture instills pride, motivation and it just “feels good” to work at Valencia every day because of the contributions you can make to our students, staff and the community.”
In the same vein, he says the culture of collaboration, both internally and externally, and the empowerment and flexibility to implement contemporary training, education and ideas at the institution are all reasons he is proud to work at Valencia.
“Jeff is a dedicated professional who is continually serving the needs of students. He is a wonderful collaborator and I enjoy our day-to-day interaction,” said Joe Battista, chief operating officer, Continuing Education.
“Valencia represents leadership in education, workforce development and community pride. And due to our nationally known reputation as the best community college in the nation, it is also a resource to assist with — and even solve — many complex public and private issues through training and education,” Jeff concluded.
Jeff earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in general studies from Columbia College, a Master’s in Public Administration with an emphasis on criminal justice, organizational management and theory and public policy from Troy University and a Doctor of Philosophy in Public Affairs at the University of Central Florida.
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