USC Price School of Public Policy

Safe Communities Institute

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

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. At 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 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.

Educational Programs

26311921354_b4d9fcc4f7_zThe first educational program SCI offers is the Public Safety Leadership Program (PSLP), which provides students a contemporary approach to public safety by adopting a multidisciplinary and “whole-of-community” methodology. The program’s core emphasis is 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 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.  It is specifically designed for Chiefs, Assistant Chiefs, and Commanders (this program is offered over 10 consecutive days).

The PSLP and ELP executive education programs award a certificate upon completion.

As part of its educational programs, SCI offers a lecture series addressing current topics in public safety. SCI also hosts 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 policies that enhance public safety. Partnerships with other universities as well as public and private organizations enhance our research efforts.

Community Engagement

SCI actively engages with faith-based institutions, community organizations, education, government and the private sector. Through conferences, symposia, 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 is featured as part of the institute’s objectives.

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