USC Price School of Public Policy

Safe Communities Institute

Welcome to the Safe Communities Institute (SCI) at the USC Price School of Public Policy. SCI continues the more than 60-year tradition of executive education for law enforcement professionals that began with the Delinquency Control Institute (DCI) in 1946.

DCI was founded by the Tyler family through an endowment to USC to help address the issue of youth delinquency in Los Angeles. Since its inception in 1946, the institute’s primary mission was to increase the effectiveness of the juvenile justice system.

Over time, our understanding of – and approaches to – public safety have evolved. After a four-year hiatus devoted to rethinking its mission (2011-2015), DCI was re-launched as SCI, the Safe Communities Institute. Today, we understand that public safety requires a holistic approach. Effective leadership and collaboration between all public safety disciplines and the community are essential to meet the complex challenges facing society in the 21st Century.

The USC Safe Communities Institute engages research, interdisciplinary education, and collaboration to advance sustainable “whole-of-community” public safety strategies, policies, and programs.

Educational Programs:

The first educational program SCI offers is the Public Safety Leadership Program (PSLP), which provides students with a 21st Century approach to public safety by adopting a multidisciplinary and “whole-of-community” methodology. At the core of the program, is an emphasis on leadership, ethics, and values. A unique feature of the PSLP is the integration of leadership concepts throughout the semester as a means to connect these principles with the various specific topics being discussed.

The PSLP is typically offered to mid-level management in public safety organizations (10 days total, spread out in a semester-long format).

In addition, the Executive Leadership Program (ELP), which has a similar focus, will be offered to upper-level management and designed for Chiefs, Assistant Chiefs, and Commanders (this program will be offered on 10 consecutive days).

The PSLP and ELP programs are both considered executive education, and upon completion students will be awarded a certificate.

As part of its educational programs, SCI offers a lecture series addressing current topics in public safety. SCI will also host an annual public safety conference during the spring semester.

Research Projects:

Research is a major component of SCI. Through studies, SCI seeks to find solutions and develop policies that will enhance public safety. Partnerships with other universities as well as public and private organizations will enhance research efforts.

Community Engagement:

SCI actively engages with the community. This includes faith-based institutions, community organizations, education, government and the private sector. Through conferences, symposiums, working groups and specialized committees, SCI seeks to identify and clarify areas of community concern. To this end, a global database of best practices for community engagement will be featured as part of the institute’s objectives.

For all inquiries, please contact the USC Safe Communities Institute at