The need for trained and qualified public safety professionals is more critical than ever. From pandemic-related problems to an ongoing drug epidemic, racial inequities, and political turmoil, our society depends on empathetic authorities to handle public safety challenges quickly, effectively, and accurately.
Doing so ensures that public safety officers can safeguard their communities and the individuals they serve inside these communities. Does this career sound appealing to you? Below we explore what it means to have a career in public safety and three challenges affecting their job and society today.
What is Public Safety?
At its highest level, public safety focuses on protecting the public from crimes, disasters, and other potential dangers and threats.
For example, in the United States, specific government organizations and local departments are responsible for ensuring that the public is protected by public safety professionals, such as police officers, security agents, emergency responders, firefighters, parole officers, paramedics, and more.
No matter the specific occupation or job title, public safety officials seek to prevent danger and protect the well-being of citizens, communities, and organizations.
How Do You Become a Public Safety Professional?
If you are passionate about helping others and ensuring their protection, a career in public safety may be the perfect fit.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), an average of about 421,500 openings in protective service occupations will occur yearly until 2031, arising from the need to replace workers who leave the profession and employment growth generally.
Pursuing this occupation often begins with a Bachelor’s in Public Safety, which focuses on fundamental concepts of public safety, including risk assessment, research methodology, and safety and security planning.
While not all career paths require a college degree, obtaining a Bachelor’s in Public Safety can set you apart from other applicants. Furthermore, many federal agencies and advanced public safety roles require candidates to have at least a bachelor’s degree.
Graduates of Public Safety and Security degree programs go on to work in:
- Corporate security
- Law enforcement
- Emergency dispatch and emergency management
- National and homeland security agencies
Three Public Safety Challenges of 2023
Public safety professionals and agencies face many challenges to enhance public safety and keep communities safe, such as COVID safety concerns, increases in violence, and even the public perception of law enforcement.
1. Covid-19 and Other Health-Related Safety Concerns
Coronavirus’ effects are still impacting individuals’ personal and global safety and health. Not only that, but the pandemic has also caused a myriad of economic issues, such as food insecurity, due to contracting the virus and missing work. For this reason, public safety professionals work diligently to provide accurate education and accessible information about vaccines, treatment, social distancing protocols, and other healthcare services to promote community safety.
Additional efforts include providing communities with more hospital beds, nurses, and physicians, as well as other medical resources to ensure the community can be taken care of. Also, many organizations and universities, like Goodwin University, stepped up at the height of the pandemic to offer resources to local hospitals and healthcare providers.
Interested in taking on a more health-focused role in preventing community crises? Learn more about earning your bachelor’s degree in Public Health!
2. Increases in Violence and the Drug Epidemic
Violence and drug use, especially in marginalized communities, continue to cause challenges for public safety professionals. Communities struggling with inequalities in their health, education, income, and political inclusion are also likely to see increased levels of violence and drug trafficking.
This means that we can no longer rely on reactive and punitive methods. Hence why, many government and government public safety officials seek to advance opportunities, adopt policies, and make resources more accessible.
Public safety officers also investigate whether and how crime rates change. They work with other professionals to investigate the safety implications of participant involvement to build and improve community safety efforts.
3. Public Perception of Law Enforcement
Jurisdictions and organizations that make sudden changes without thoughtfully considering their communities often face the consequences of their actions through disgruntled citizens.
Instead, by engaging with stakeholders, centering the voices of those impacted by adverse mental and behavioral health conditions, and collecting and analyzing data, law enforcement and public safety officials can move the public perception of their organizations in a positive direction.
Furthermore, law enforcement officers utilize advanced technology, like integrated video security and analytic systems and ethical AI technologies, to help them do their job more safely, efficiently, and effectively. Various tools include facial recognition software, license plate recognition, and analytics-driven investigative software.
Combining technology solutions with talented and qualified candidates who can share the data results and initiatives with the public, law enforcement, and other public safety individuals can better protect their communities and themselves. Plus, many agencies continuously review the policies and procedures to ensure they align with industry best practices and meet their community’s needs.
Start Your Career in Public Safety at Goodwin University
Public safety professionals are policy developers and implementers seeking to protect people, places, and essential information from outside threats.
Earning a degree in Public Safety at Goodwin University ensures you will be developing the professional skills and knowledge of grant writing, policy analysis, risk assessment, research methodology, and safety and security planning. Furthermore, our career-focused school and Public Safety program works tirelessly to ensure you land a dream job that fulfills you personally and professionally.
Our one hundred and twenty-one credit curriculum is interdisciplinary, giving you a deeper understanding of the challenges that influence public safety and how you can positively change the industry overall. Plus, students also have the opportunity to choose between a Criminal Justice or Homeland Security track to build upon their degree’s foundation.
On campus, classes are offered days and nights in a standard fifteen-week format for maximum flexibility for students balancing work, home, and school. Find out more about Goodwin University’s Bachelor’s in Public Safety by contacting us today.
It’s time to crush your educational and career goals!