Public Safety Law in a Dynamic World

Course Overview

Course Description

In an era where evolving technology is outpacing the law, this cutting-edge course helps provide direction and answer questions around the legal complexities of using law enforcement technologies, and other contemporary legal issues. The course looks at right-to-privacy and 4th amendment cases that are guiding legal precedents regarding smartphones, UAVs, BWCs, Brady issues, DNA evidence, cyber crime, terrorism, peace officer records release and transparency legislation. The course features hypothetical scenarios in which students make leadership and mission decisions broaching legal questions where there is no clear correct legal answer.

Course Highlights:

  • Students will examine and apply the right to privacy as defined by a series of United States Supreme Court cases.
  • The course uses case studies to argue for the ethical and legally appropriate use of drones; many of these cases do not provide clear standards or best practices, so this is truly an emerging area of law that guides law enforcement practices.
  • This course analyzes how 4th Amendment standards may and may not apply in the dynamic realm of cybercrime.
  • A key piece of this course looks at use case studies to argue for the ethical and legally appropriate use of the following:
    • Body worn cameras
    • Facial recognition software
    • Private and public video surveillance partnerships
Student Comments

“The material presented was current and relevant to today’s law enforcement challenges as it pertains to public safety law, surveillance challenges, and meeting the demands of the public in transparency. The discussions held by the students as well were very thoughtful, articulate, and brought up several good points that made me think outside of the box.”
-Fall ’22 Student

“This course was beyond my expectations. It merged past issues with contemporary concerns and provided current solutions, a trend I suspect will continue. If this trend is continued, then the course will constantly evolve.”
– Fall ’22 Student

“This course challenged me with an extensive review of case law. It pushed me out of my comfort zone of the law aspects in a court conference room or courtroom. It made me look deeper at why and how laws came to be. Instead of the fallback of street patrol work and the judge and lawyers taking the following steps, I was forced to take a different view from a different angle.”
-Fall ’22 Student

“The instructor made case law applicable to my current position as a police commander. Thank you!!”
– Summer ’19 Student

“I got more out of this class than I had expected. Everything I was learning about had something to do with my job. My instructor gave me great feedback and I noticed I was improving with my grammar, spelling, and critical thinking. I really enjoyed the discussion board. I learned a lot from my classmates.”
-Summer ’19 Student

“Feedback and dialogue were great! It really didn’t feel like a one-dimensional online environment because of the constant engagement by the professor. The various modules, assignments and discussions really brought us full circle.”
– Summer ’19 Student

“Virtually every aspect contributed to my career. The professors and course work have caused me to think more deeply about my profession and how I might make a difference.”
-Spring ’17 Student


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