All posts by Anjum Perfetti

Policing and Minority Communities: A Candid Conversation with Delrish Moss

Delrish moss

On September 10, the Career and Academic Community team from St. Petersburg College‘s Public Safety, Public Policy, and Legal Studies division hosted an event called Policing and Minority Communities: A Candid Conversation with Delrish Moss. This event was the second in the Policing and Minority Community Discussion Series. The first was held over the summer: Policing and Minority Communities: A candid conversation with Dr. Pernell Witherspoon and SPC Professor Michael Hughes.

Moss is the former Chief of Police for the Ferguson, Missouri Police Department, appointed after the civil unrest following the death of Michael Brown in 2014. He was the first African American appointed to this position. He discussed policing in minority communities following the recent events of high-profile police involved incidents that have occurred in recent months.  His passion for the topic and his commitment to developing community relationships was a highlight of this conversation.  

More than 255 attendees joined in on Zoom for this engaging discussion, which included 80 questions submitted by students, faculty and staff. Dr. Laurie King, SPC Professor of Applied Ethics, helped organize the event after reading an editorial he wrote for the Miami Herald. She said offered a ray of hope in troubled times.

“Delrish Moss’ passion for involving the community in creating a positive policing environment was so engaging,” King said. “His insight into our very complicated, ongoing issues gave me hope that solutions do exist if we all choose to work toward that common goal.”  

If you are an SPC faculty member, staffer or a student and you have not already joined the Public Safety, Public Policy, and Legal Studies Career and Academic page on SPC’s Workplace , please consider joining to receive the most up-to-date information on events and activities. A copy of the recording for this event will be posted there. 

Additionally, here is a LibGuide on Policing and Minority Communities that was built with the support of SPC’s Learning Resources department.

SPC Public Safety Program attends 25th Annual Pinellas County First Responders Dinner

Group of banquet guests stand for a picture around a table.

On Saturday, February 15, 2020, St. Peterburg College attended the 25th Annual Commissioner John Morroni First Responders Dinner at the Hilton Carillon Park Hotel. This year’s event was hosted by Commissioner Janet Long and Sheriff Bob Gualtieri.

John Morroni served as a County Commissioner for Pinellas County for many years. During his time as a Commissioner, he created this Annual First Responders Dinner where first responders are honored and awarded for their great work.

Commissioner John Morroni battled cancer for many years and passed away in 2017 but his legacy of the First Responders Dinner lives on. The distinguished awards include:

  • Jeffery A. Yaslowitz Outstanding K-9 Team
  • Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office
  • Pinellas County Fire Chief’s Association
  • Sunstar Parademic
  • St. Peterburg Police Department
  • Clearwater Police Department

This year was the second year in a row that SPC Public Safety Program has attended the annual event. To represent SPC this year, we had a number of faculty and staff members in attendance as well as student representation from many aspects of the SPC College of Public Safety program including Crime Scene Technology, Fire Academy, Police Academy, Corrections Academy, Student and EMS/Paramedic.

Group of SPC Students attending Banquet

“The [First Responders] event was absolutely amazing from start to finish, every detail placed into the event was very inspirational and moving to say the least. This night truly opened my eyes to the sacrifices, dangers, and events our heroes, our first responders, have to deal with on a daily basis within this profession,” said SPC Allstate Center Student Government President and Crime Scene Technology student, Shi’Niqua Vaught.

“I would also reference the uniqueness in the networking that occurred before it all began (with many first responding agencies and many of our elected officials). It was such a great time and opportunity to really get to know the wonderful people in our community. I am so grateful for the opportunity and honored to represent SPC and the Allstate campus as a Public Safety student.”

SPC values and recognizes the hard work of our first responders, and many first responders within the local area are alumni of SPC or will attend SPC for continuing education.

Are you interested in learning more about SPC’s Public Safety Program? If so, please contact us at or visit the SPC website.

SPC Police and Corrections Academy Recruits join in for this year’s “Christmas In July” event at St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital

Members from the Law Enforcement and Corrections Academies attended the annual “Christmas in July” charity benefit last Saturday, generating toy donations for the young patients of All Children’s Hospital. Leading the group is our honorary Law Enforcement graduate Eric Piburn spreading his message of “kindness” to all.

Our focus is to embed these recruits into the community and serving as soon as possible. What a wonderful cause to start their careers in public service.

Christmas in July is a month-long, community-wide fundraiser for St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital. Every year, St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital Foundation aids corporations, local businesses, civic organizations, and individuals in bringing some mid-year holiday cheer to the kids that need it most.

On Friday, July 26, from 7 a.m. – 1 p.m., a number of community partners, sponsors, and donors came together to celebrate their month-long fundraising efforts. Local media Magic 94.9 and Fox 13 broadcast live as local businesses and individuals share info the joy of giving, patients will have a special visit from Santa, and volunteers help collect toy and monetary donations from community.

Health care settings are often stressful and frightening experiences for children and families. Providing recreation, developmental play, and play therapy gives kids strategies for coping and bring a momentary escape from their illness. It is through generous community support, and events like Christmas in July, that St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital is able to provide these services that dramatically alter a child’s hospital experience members.

College of Public Safety – Fall 2019 Courses and Program Updates

Choose Public Safety as YOUR Career!

Did you know that obtaining a degree through our College of Public Safety can provide you with a number of career opportunities such as:

  • Law Enforcement Officer
  • Corrections Officer
  • Probation Officer
  • Crime Scene Investigation(CSI)
  • Cyber Security and Investigation
  • Private Investigations
  • Child Protection Investigator
  • Non-sworn Investigator
  • Juvenile Detention Officer
  • School Resource Officer

SPC’s College of Public Safety Administration offers degrees and certificates in a variety of areas, such as Crime Scene Technology, Emergency Administration and Management and Fire Science Technology, just to name a few. Traditionally, many of the Public Safety academic courses are primarily online (for our bachelor’s degree program), and face-to-face at the SPC Allstate Center as well as at SPC’s Tarpon Springs Campus for the lower division courses.

Effective the Fall 2019 semester, the College of Public Safety Administration program is offering a pilot program on the SPC St. Petersburg/Gibbs Campus!

 The courses offered at the SPC St. Petersburg/Gibbs Campus for Fall 2019 are:

  • CCJ 1020 Introduction to Criminal Justice – 8 Week 1 & 2
  • CJE 1202 Crime & Delinquency in – 8 Week 2

Additionally, there are Criminal Justice Courses offered on the Tarpon Springs and Allstate Center Campuses. These courses include:

Allstate Center (Home of the College of Public Safety) Fall 2019 Courses:

  • Online Sections (Fall 2019):
    • Intro to Criminal Justice – 8 Week 1 & 2
    • Gangs & Terrorism – 8 Week 1
    • Crime & Delinquency – 8 Week 1 
    • Investigative Trends – 8 Week 1 & 2
    • Survey of Research Methods for Criminal Justice – 8 Week 2
    • Constitutional Law/Rule of Evidence – 8 Week 2
    • Crime Scene Safety – 8 Week 1
    • Fingerprint classification – 8 Week 1
    • Advance Crime Scene Technology – 8 Week 2
    • Courtroom Presentation of Evidence – 8 Week 2
  • Face-to-Face (Fall 2019):
    • Constitutional Law – 8 Week 1
    • Survey of Research Methods for Criminal Justice (High School Students Only)
    • Crime and Delinquency (High School Students Only)
    • Intro to Crime Scene – 8 Week 1
    • Crime Scene Photography – 8 Week 1
    • Intro to Forensic Science – 8 Week 2
    • Latent Fingerprint Development – 8 Week 2
    • Biological Evidence – 8 Week 2

Tarpon Springs Campus Fall 2019 Courses:

  • Fall 2019:
    • CCJ 1020 – Introduction to Criminal Justice – 8 Week 1
    • CJE 2605 – Investigative Trends – 8 Week 2

As far as Upper Division courses in our bachelor’s degree in Public Safety, all courses are offered online and are all eight week courses. 

Should you have any questions about the Public Safety programs, please contact advising at We hope to see you in our courses in the fall!

Looking to further explore the possibilities of Public Safety? Be sure to check out a few of our upcoming events during Public Safety, Public Policy, and Legal Studies Week this September 16 – 20, 2019! More information to come.

Honoring Law Enforcement: National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day

Dual enrollment

Jan. 9 is recognized as National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day.

Thank you to all who have made the decision to serve as a law enforcement officer, and a special thanks on National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day to those agencies and officers in our community:

  • Belleair Police Department
  • Clearwater Police Department
  • Gulfport Police Department
  • Indian Shores Police Department
  • Kenneth City Police Department
  • Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office
  • Largo Police Department
  • Pinellas Park Police Department
  • Pinellas County Schools District Police
  • St. Petersburg Police Department
  • Tarpon Springs Police Department
  • And all other state-level law enforcement agencies operating in Pinellas County

And thank you to all of our academic and academy students who are choosing to learn and gain knowledge through our programs to serve our community in the future.

Why did I choose this profession?

Here is a note from a retired police officer on National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day:

“As a retired law enforcement officer with over 25 years of experience I have asked myself ‘Why did I choose this profession?’

The job can be mundane and routine. Often thankless and the rewards are few. We hear and read about the dangers, and mistakes or misjudgment of officers are highly publicized. They say cops live in a ‘fish bowl.’ I feel like this is a valid perspective.

Living in a fish bowl can have its advantages and disadvantages.

One of the advantages from my perspective is that you get to see everything just as everyone gets to see you. As a cop, you get opportunities to see people at their worst and their best. At their worst is when they are in trouble or have violated the law. Cops see people at their best when they help their fellow man, see people trying to help each other, and observe fellow officers and citizens live their lives based on integrity and purpose.

A disadvantage can be the ‘scar tissue’ officers collect by seeing so much negativity. It’s difficult to witness the things cops see and not be affected.

Sure, today things are dangerous. Many people are running from the ‘fire.’ Cops are the ones running to the danger.

I was asked to explain why I became a cop. My parents raised us with a sense of respect and care for our fellow man. To live by a code of integrity and commitment. Law enforcement has allowed me the opportunity to live my life in a way that was comfortable and rewarding. Allowed me to be of service to my community and country.

Most cops try to live within their communities and be good neighbors and friends.

This is the life I live and will continue to try to live. I hope that I have been and continue to be a visible, positive part of my community. I aspire to live in such a way that others see the good in me.

In my current job, I get the chance to help mold, influence and develop future officers. I’m not trying to create mini-mes. I want to help develop people who can serve their communities with integrity, professionalism and caring.

To answer my original question; Why I did I choose profession? Sometimes I still ask myself.  The pay is not the greatest. People aren’t always happy to see you (especially in their rear view mirror with the lights flashing). The job is dangerous and sometimes thankless.

But, for me, there is the satisfaction of living a life of service. That you have tried your best help people. When you stopped something really bad from happening or provided that necessary assistance in a time of need, there is no more satisfying feeling that you can experience.

I hope that next time you see that person in the marked police car that you think of them as your friend, neighbor, fellow PTA member, Little League coach and a decent person who is trying to be of service.

I offer this note in appreciation to the men and women who serve our communities.”

And – thank you to all of our academic and academy students who are choosing to learn and gain knowledge through our programs to serve our community in the future.

Interested in pursuing a career in Law Enforcement or Public Safety?

Well, did you know…

SPC’s Allstate Center is the home of public safety at the college. We offer many programs related to public safety including:

  • Public Safety Training Academies:
    • Corrections Academy
    • Equivalency of Training Academy
    • Firefighting Academy
    • Law Enforcement Academy
  • Academic – College of Public Safety Administration
    • Associate of Science Degrees:
      • Criminal Justice Technology A.S.
      • Crime Scene Technology A.S.
      • Emergency Administration and Management A.S.
      • Fire Science Technology A.S.
    • Public Safety Administration Bachelor of Applied Science
    • Certificates:
      • Emergency Administration and Management Certificate
      • Homeland Security Certificate
      • Public Safety Telecommunication Certificate 
      • Fire Officer Supervisor Certificate

Additionally, we offer many other in-services and advanced training. For more information about our programs and course offering, please contact or learn more online.

Dual Enrollment Public Safety Education Program Offered

Dual Enrollment

The St. Petersburg College /St. Petersburg Police Department (SPPD) Public Safety Education Program, formerly known as the St. Petersburg Police Cadet Program, is a dual enrollment program designed to allow high school students with an interest in law enforcement or public safety the opportunity to complete college-level courses in to preparation for entering this career field.

Dual EnrollmentThis program targets 11th and 12th grade high school students and allows them to take college-level courses at the SPC Allstate Center after their regular school day. Students enrolled in the program will take a total of four classes during their last four semesters of high school, with the opportunity to earn a total of 12 college credits. Credits can be applied toward a degree program at SPC, or they can be transferred to any accredited college or university that will accept them.

The program requires a 3.0 GPA, but students with a 2.5 GPA can enroll, as long as the GPA is trending up. The decision to accept students without a 3.0 is done on a case-by-case decision.

Course schedule, days and times

The program consists of  four courses taken during the junior and senior years of high school:

11th Grade:

  • CJE1202- Crime and Delinquency
  • CJE2605- Investigative Trends

12th Grade:

  • CCJ2720-Introduction to Research Methods Criminal Justice
  • DSC1004-Introdudction to the NRF and NIMS

Classes are offered at the Allstate Center Monday through Thursday from 3 – 4:15 p.m. two days per week.

Opportunities for field trips and interaction with the St. Petersburg Police Department and other law enforcement and public safety professionals will be offered. The program will require students to participate in training with the SPPD one Saturday per semester.

Participating students who are 18 years of age also have the opportunity to obtain part-time employment with the city of St. Petersburg, which could be a stepping stone for other opportunities and careers with the city.

The program is currently offered to the following South County high schools, but North County students are welcome to participate.

  • Gibbs
  • Boca Ciega
  • Lakewood
  • St. Petersburg
  • Northeast
  • Pinellas Park
  • Dixie Hollins
  • Osceola

Students will need to have transportation the Allstate Center to attend classes.

If you have questions, please contact Michael Hughes, Chair of Law Programs at SPC at 727-341-4146, or email him at  Or Call Calvin Gordon, PSEP Instructor, at 727-341-4509, or email him at Also available is Janie Staples, St. Petersburg Police Officer, at 727-892-5082, or email her at

Enjoy a Haunted Open House at the Allstate Center Oct. 27

Allstate Center Haunted Halloween Open House

The St. Petersburg College Allstate Center is hosting its 4th annual haunted Halloween Open House on Friday, Oct. 27, from 6 – 9 pm.

This FREE event is open to all SPC faculty, staff, and students, as well as the local community.

Participants can expect a eerie good time with each floor of the Allstate Center crawling with Halloween activities for the entire family to enjoy!

  • On the first floor, parents can bring their children for “safe” trick-or-treating. There will also be opportunities for children to take photos with firefighters, as well as plenty of games and activities for a spooktacular evening.
  • On the second floor, we have created a multi-room haunted house, featuring the SPC Allstate jail cell, mock crime scene apartment, and courtroom!
  • Attendees will also have the opportunity to learn about SPC programs and meet local community vendors.

Last year more than 350 people attended. Zombies, vampires, scary clowns, and a spectral cemetery were all part of the event. Each year the haunts are badder, bigger, and better. Make plans now to see what surprises are in store for you!

Share the word about the haunted open house

Help us get the word out and make plans to spend a spooky evening at the Allstate Center!

Join us for SPC Allstate Center's Halloween Open House on Friday, October 27th, from 6pm – 9pm!This campus event will…

Posted by St. Petersburg College Allstate Center on Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Needed: sponsors and volunteers

We’re looking for sponsors and volunteers to help with this great event!

If you’re interested in this volunteer opportunity, you can register your information here.  Or, to get more information about sponsoring or volunteering, please contact us at 727-341-4480.

SPC Allstate Center – Halloween Open House

Join us for the SPC Allstate Center – Halloween Open House on Friday, 10/27, from 6 – 9 pm for a spooky good time!

Posted by St. Petersburg College on Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Hazardous Materials Emergency Training at Allstate, Fire Training Center

hazardous materials emergency training for Pinellas County responders

Pinellas County’s Fire Administration Special Operations Teams prepare for emergencies – getting training to handle and rescue people injured in chemical spills, tanker accidents and more – at St. Petersburg College’s Allstate Center and Fire Training Center.

The college has a contract with the county to provide training for two countywide Special Operations Teams – the Hazardous Materials Response Team and the Technical Rescue Team. Members of the teams participate in bi-monthly training exercises with instructors at the centers as well as representatives from Shell Oil, Amoco Safety Training, Air Products, Peoples Gas, and the Environmental Protection Agency.

Hazardous materials emergency training; countywide response

Hazardous materials emergency training for Pinellas County respondersAll of the hazmat technicians are trained to respond to a variety of incidents including gas leaks, train derailments, tanker truck accidents, chemical spills, or any incident involving toxic substances.

Each hazmat response unit also carries specialized air monitoring and chemical testing equipment as well as chemical resistant suits and decontamination appliances.

Emergency scenarios

In July, the hazmat team has been using classroom space at the Allstate Center. The focus of the training involves scenarios they may typically encounter when responding to an incident involving hazardous materials.

After reviewing scenarios, team members break into various groups necessary to successfully handle the incident. They split up into groups responsible for command, safety, research and planning, decontamination, entry, and recovery.

This training is great practice for the new and the old members of the team. It allows them to develop and use skills needed to successfully handle the situations involving hazardous materials that they may encounter in real-time situations.

Hazardous materials emergency training for Pinellas County repsonders

Firefighting Academy; public safety programs at SPC

St. Petersburg College offers a variety of public safety programs and public safety training academies including the Firefighting Academy. The academy is certified as a training center by the Florida Bureau of Fire Standards and Training.

Toastmasters Helps Prepare SPC Cadets

Graduation at Allstate Center

Toastmasters is helping prepare St. Petersburg College cadets to become better speakers and leaders.

The Law Enforcement Academy at SPC has provided quality training programs for law enforcement officers for more than 25 years. As current cadets from the Police Recruit Classes 202 and 203 and Corrections Recruit Class 92 complete the academic and defensive tactics curriculum, their coordinators have also encouraged participation in the recent Toastmasters “Better Speaker” workshop.

Before graduation from the academy, this type of training is important for job interview preparation. The training also is important because, once hired, law enforcement officers are perceived as community leaders and are often called upon to speak in court, as well as at government meetings and local events.

Directors from Toastmasters District 48, presented a workshop on April 11 at the Allstate Center for approximately 40 students.

Toastmasters International is a non-profit educational organization that allows members to practice public speaking and develop leadership skills.

Ellen Holtzman served as the program’s emcee and provided an overview of how a Toastmaster meeting is conducted by engaging students to practice impromptu speaking and participate in the meeting roles. The timer serves to monitor the presenter’s adherence to time. An “ah-counter” keeps track of how many times the presenter uses filler words. Plus a grammarian is responsible to monitor grammar and use of the selected word of the day.

The word for this workshop was “listen.” Active listening skills are equally important in learning to become a better speaker.

The first segment of the workshop was presented by Rebecca Thornton. She outlined the three “P”s of public speaking: Preparation, Practice and Pride. Cathy Naabe shared the Toastmasters Speechcraft condensed program on how to overcome fear and learn the basics. Gil Penny shared how SPC Seminole Campus students participate regularly in a 10-week Speechcraft Boot Camp.

For more information or to find a Toastmasters club near you, please visit the Toastmasters website!



Public Safety careers showcased at third annual Touch-a-Truck

Public Safety Careers Bayflite helicopter

Public safety careers are the stars of the show at the third annual Touch-a-Truck! The event returns to St. Petersburg College Allstate Campus on Saturday, April 22 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. This free family-friendly event is a perfect introduction to the Public Safety family on campus.

Real Vehicles, Real Heroes, Real Fun

Touch-a-Truck gives kids and kids at heart a chance to interact with vehicles from police, fire, and community organizations from around Tampa Bay. There will be music, food, and lots of fun activities for the whole family! Climb through a police cruiser, stand on deck in a Coast Guard patrol craft, and have a look through the Bayflite air ambulance! This is way more fun than playing with toy trucks in the sandbox. Learn first-hand about the real life adventures of firefighters, law enforcement, and others who serve our community as they provide a tour of their vehicles.

If you would like to bring a vehicle or volunteer for this event, please complete the survey.

Public Safety Careers in the Spotlight

Inspired? Learn how you can do good while doing well with a career in public safety. College advisors will be there to help prospective students. Take a tour of the campus. Learn from students enrolled in the program. Recruiters will be on hand to talk about opportunities with their agencies and how to apply. Be sure to bring a resume! Take the first step and learn about public safety careers at the third annual Touch-a-Truck on St. Petersburg College Allstate Campus.

Some participating agencies are:

  • The City of St. Petersburg Police Department
  • Pinellas County Animal Services
  • Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office
  • St. Petersburg Fire and Rescue
  • Skyway Marina District

Learn More

SPC’s College of Public Safety Administration offers certificates that provide training in specific and employable skills such as computer related crime investigation, homeland security and crime scene technology – all of which can be applied to an associate degree in either Criminal Justice Technology, Crime Scene Technology, Emergency Administration and Management or Fire Science Technology. All of our public safety A.S. degrees transfer to our Public Safety Administration B.A.S. degree.