Law Enforcement Association Endorsements and Student Testimonials

USD's M.S. in Law Enforcement & Public Safety Leadership is supported by law enforcement and praised by students

Association Endorsements and Partnerships

USD’s Master of Science in Law Enforcement and Public Safety leadership program was designed in collaboration with law enforcement, and we value our relationships with unions, associations and other groups representing and advocating for law enforcement professionals.

  • Association of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs (AOCDS)
  • National Fraternal Order of Police
  • California State Law Enforcement Association
  • California Police Chiefs Association
  • San Diego Police Officers Association
  • San Diego Deputy Sheriffs Association
  • Riverside Sheriffs Association
  • Santa Barbara Deputy Sheriffs Association
  • Phoenix Law Enforcement Association

Student Testimonials

“I chose the LEPSL program because of the immediate and future application of the curriculum towards my profession of police leadership, as well as for the tremendous networking opportunities. The online format is perfect for me to be able to balance school, work and life. I am able to commit the required time to the program when it best suits me and my family, and my schedule fluctuates week to week. I researched programs for a few years prior to starting. LEPSL was the best choice for me after factoring in tuition costs, time management requirements, professionalism of faculty and the prestige of the University of San Diego. I feel like I am a more effective leader within my organization and am better prepared for a second career after retirement.”

– Eric Skaja, Police Captain

“I chose the Law Enforcement Public Safety Leadership (LEPSL) Program for the well-rounded subject matter commensurate with law enforcement management skills needed in the policing enterprise of today and the future. Inspired by co-workers who graduated from LEPSL, I found the program focused on key topics piquing my interest such as: analytical procedures for evaluating crime scenes, collective bargaining and contract negotiation, budgeting, law enforcement policy shaped by Constitutional law, organizational leadership, communication techniques and more. More amazingly is the 100% online course curriculum. The flexibility afforded to 40-plus-hour-a-week professionals allows students to manage their schedules around work, family and personal time. Also, engaging with law enforcement professionals from around the Nation including top-notch professors who are experts in the field adds value to the program. Consequently, in personal observation of co-workers who recently graduated from the program during the past year I see the change in their knowledge base and academia in their thought processes and approach to all situations. Their actions continue to inspire me. Regarding promotion, I am currently at the pinnacle as the Deputy Chief of Police of a Marine Corps Provost Marshal’s Office but the educational background from LEPSL has enhanced my enforcement vision from the military and civilian sector. I would definitely recommend LEPSL to others based on the course layout and flexibility. Time management to flex around a private and professional lifestyle and gain excellent facilitation on current and future law enforcement topics with other police officers from around the nation are hands-down reasons to enroll into this course.”

– William Mokuau, Deputy Chief of Police

“I completed my degree in May 2017 and I couldn’t be happier that I chose the LEPSL program. The classes were relevant to current issues in law enforcement. Too many times to count, I would come to work where we would be discussing an issue that was currently a topic of a course. The instructors were very supportive and understanding, especially of my time constraints. I traveled internationally eight times, and several more times domestically, during the program. Each time I contacted the instructor to request additional time or to explain I would have limited internet in a third world country and every time the instructor would help me work it out. If you’re a working law enforcement officer, whether or not you need special consideration of your time, this really is a great program.”

– Steve Shea, Chief Deputy

“I had been contemplating the pursuit of my Master’s degree for several years when I came upon the University of San Diego’s Law Enforcement & Public Safety Leadership program. The program’s structure and content were exactly what I had been looking for. As law enforcement leaders we all have busy lives and work schedules but the format of this program fits into my busy lifestyle. The contemporary issues covered in the courses have helped me become a better leader while preparing me for promotion. The faculty has been very accommodating and the instructors have been top notch. I couldn’t be happier with my choice of USD and the LEPSL program.”

– Aaron Fountain, Investigations Sergeant

“The classes and faculty were highly specialized in all the current and societal issues facing today’s law enforcement leaders. The coursework was thought provoking and relevant to issues facing law enforcement professionals. As a manager in a large metropolitan area, having the luxury of going to class on my schedule was convenient, and much lower stress than conventional classes. I feel confident that anyone who completes the LEPSL degree would enhance their knowledge about current events and laws, which would be demonstrated during any promotional process and making them a much better prepared leader. I encourage anyone in law enforcement who hopes to lead in the 21st century to enroll in LEPSL. “

– Duane Voss, Police Lieutenant

“Given my busy professional and personal life, I needed a master’s program that allowed for maximum flexibility along with relevant information to enhance my career. The University of San Diego’s Master’s in Law Enforcement and Public Safety Leadership online program was a perfect fit! The professors and all the staff associated with LEPSL are extremely knowledgeable and provide topical instruction for the law enforcement professional. I highly recommend this program for all law enforcement professionals seeking to take their careers to the next level. “

– Jose Gonzalez, Police Commander

“The University of San Diego Law Enforcement and Public Safety Leadership (LEPSL) Program is a real world graduate proram with a pragmatic approach to contemporary issues in law enforcement. The program focuses onthe efficacy of modern policy and procedures while maintaining a focus on ethics throughout every facet of the program. Each Primary Learn Objective (PLO) identifies applicable concepts with a digestible blend of concepts and theory. The LEPSL program encompasses leadership concepts that are relatable and immediately usable in my current assignment. “

– Brian Schopf, Police Sergeant

“This program is the most contemporary and cutting edge Law Enforcement degree offered. If you are looking to advance your career and/or advance your skills as a leader in 21st century policing you must take this course. After completing the Masters degree LEPSL program I was promoted to Sergeant with the Salinas Police Department and continue to grow in my career!”

– Dale Fors, Police Sergeant

“The LEPSL program at USD is both challenging and rewarding. I started the program at the end of my law enforcement career and couldn’t be happier about the decision. I love the interaction with fellow students throughout the Country and enjoy the feedback provided to me. I find the course work challenging, contemporary and interesting. I highly recommend the program.”

– Lisa Hinz, Police Lieutenant

“When I completed POST Command College, I was motivated to further my education. After researching a variety of master’s programs, I learned about the University of San Diego’s Master of Science in Law Enforcement and Public Safety Leadership program. The University of San Diego offers graduate level credit for Command College coursework that was transferable to the MS-LEPSL program. Most importantly, the courses are offered online which is conducive to my full-time career and family commitments. The registration and transfer process was effortless and I will have the ability to graduate much sooner than I expected. I definitely recommend this program to those who are desirous to promote. A master’s degree exemplifies your commitment to learning and the knowledge you acquire will enhance your skill set. Managing a contemporary police agency is a complex, demanding profession that requires a motivated and educated individual. The MS-LEPSL program prepares you for these challenges and responsibilities. “

– Jennifer Malis-Estrada, Jail Administrator

“Growing up in San Diego, I was already familiar with the prestige of a USD degree. When I learned about the online program for law enforcement, there was no doubt in my mind that this was perfect for me. Programs like this one reinforce the emotional, academic and ethical practices of what is considered ‘good policing’ by teaching the importance of professionalism, open-mindedness and the framework of ethical community policing.”

– Jazzma Rainey, U.S. Customs & Border Protection Officer

“The LEPSL program offered by USD has provided me an education that is rooted in real-life experiences and examples. I have been able to immediately apply what I have learned to my everyday work and even my personal life. I have seen an increase in my ability to effectively communicate with my peers and superiors, as well as better understand the complex relationships and discourse of the law enforcement community. My understanding of the law enforcement profession has grown to include aspects of the profession that I had not previously considered. I would recommend this program to my fellow law enforcement officers, regardless of their rank or experience, because the ideas and values taught throughout the program can immediately be implemented by every student. The increased understanding of policy and procedure making, as well as leadership techniques, will not only prepare you for promotion to higher level, but it will create excitement and drive to seek promotion. This program has made my outlook on the future of policing more positive, and my understanding of the intricacies of the relationship between law enforcement and the community will help me to make better decisions as a law enforcement officer.”

– Vanessa Day, Deputy Sheriff

“The USD LEPSL program has exceeded my expectations. I chose USD for its reputation and the coursework offered in the program. The faculty and staff have been extremely accommodating and helpful throughout the entire process. The scheduling and tempo, while challenging, has allowed me to maintain my personal and professional responsibilities while continuing my education. The coursework has immediate application to my daily duties with my agency and has given opportunities to apply the material in various projects. I would recommend this program to anyone who is interested in developing their understanding of leadership, organizational dynamics, and emerging issues within the law enforcement profession. “

– Greg Borromeo, Police Sergeant

“The Law Enforcement and Public Safety Leadership Masters Degree program at the University of San Diego is simply the only way to go for law enforcement professionals looking to further their education. The professors are well-respected experts in their fields and utilize current national issues that we in law enforcement deal with on a daily basis. This degree program will not only enhance your knowledge but it will also give you that edge that is needed during the promotional process. With many of our members attending or already alumni; the Santa Barbara County Deputy Sheriff’s Association is proud to endorse and partner with USD!”

– Brad Welch, Sheriff’s Sergeant

“I really like that all the content is current. For example, we are diving into the hot issues, like body cameras and drones. There is a huge focus on relevant and timely issues that are affecting law enforcement today, and that really differentiates this program from many other criminal justice programs. I also like that the class is mostly composed of high-ranking law enforcement officials. Their feedback in the course is just exceptional. The stuff that you can get from their experience is tremendous – you don’t get that in normal classes.” [Read more]

 – Ryan Flick, Lt. Watch Commander

“The USD faculty is awesome. They are extremely responsive, well-educated and very experienced. In my recent assessment for the position of commander with my agency, I spoke quite a bit about the USD program and all of the themes we are discussing, and I know it made all the difference. I came out number one of five candidates.” [Read more]

– Tom Bailey, Police Commander

“This program at USD is geared toward developing leaders. Curriculum wise, it’s not just theoretical. The instructors inspire you to think about the new and upcoming issues that law enforcement is going to face and how, as a leader, you are going to deal with those issues. If you want to change policy and have a greater impact in your department and community, this degree is perfect for you.” [Read more]

– Jillian Robard, Jail Deputy

“In terms of curriculum, USD takes a very non-traditional approach. It’s so far ahead of any other criminal justice program I have seen. The instructors in the program are talking about things as they are happening — it’s light years ahead of other programs. I can’t imagine not being in this program – it has changed the whole trajectory of my career.” [Read more]

– Kenneth Ehrman, Investigator

“My goal is to advance my law enforcement career by being promoted through the ranks, and having a master’s degree — especially one from a top ranked university like USD — is going to help me assume more leadership responsibility. If you want to advance your law enforcement career and move into a leadership role as a sergeant, captain, or commander this program is right for you.” [Read more]

– John McKean, Police Officer

“USD is a Catholic institution and that was very important to me. The pricing was great, and the magnitude of USD’s name in the university world was a major plus. USD is a traditional university reaching out to the working group, and that made a difference to me. I was originally applying for scholarships from two other schools. But I realized I would rather hold a degree from USD.” [Read more]

– Eddie Brock, Lieutenant Sheriff

“I obtained my undergrad from Ashford in 2012. Then Ashford began to have accreditation concerns and I was embarrassed to tell others where I had earned my degree. I began to look at returning to school where I would be proud to announce my alma mater. I decided upon the University of Colorado’s public administration program. Then I saw a billboard about this program. Then I saw an advertisement in my department’s POA magazine. Then I read an article in the Union Tribune. I compared tuition and the fact this program was tailored towards leading in a law enforcement agency. After attending an informational meeting the decision to apply to USD was quite simple. The innovative concepts, the relevant topics discussed, and the network of peers to be able to debate with became the overwhelming reason behind my decision to enroll at USD.”

– Geoffrey DeCesari, Police Detective

“The Master’s Program in Leadership in Law Enforcement and Public Safety at USD was absolutely the best leadership class I have ever taken. Each class was current, informative and relevant to my profession. The professors were engaged and made the class interesting and challenging. I also learned a lot from my peers. I recommend this program to anyone in law enforcement or public safety who wants to enhance their leadership skills and make their department a better place. My experience in this program was a significant factor in my recent promotion from sergeant to lieutenant.”

– Scott Eberle, Police Lieutenant

“Acquiring my MS in Law Enforcement Leadership from USD was one of the best educational choices I have made. Completing this program aided in my promoting to Sergeant last year. Great people and a great program that offers great opportunity. “

– Stephanie Cox, Custody Sergeant

“This is a great professional advancement learning program. The courses are well paced and absolutely relevant to the current culture in today’s law enforcement. The classes are challenging and force you to think outside the box regarding real life issues. I was able to work my regular work assignment and still find time to complete my school work. Take the extra time you have to better yourself, improve your resume, and actually learn relevant material. I also found it more beneficial to attend a well respected university that will carry more national weight. Great job to everyone involved, and thank you for your hard work in making this a smooth and legitimate program.”

– Robert Rockwell, Deputy Sheriff

“USD’s law enforcement and public safety leadership program has been amazing. From the quality and experienced instructors to one of its kinds course material, this program has genuinely assisted me in my career development and has prepared me for today’s challenges in this profession. Dr. Fritsvold genuinely cares about his students and law enforcement. When I first researched various master’s programs, I was unable to find what I was looking for until I found this program. The all online program is quick-paced but thorough. Every week I am learning something new and applicable to my profession. I have utilized the leadership skills learned from this program and have applied them within my agency with such positive results. I wish every law enforcement officer could attend this program. This program has made me into the leader that I am today and am grateful for that.”

– Dan Templeton, Police Sergeant

“I absolutely love this program. Having the online platform was the best thing that could have happened to me educationally. It’s very flexible for working professionals. The USD professors are all criminal justice professionals and understand the very sensitive and often turbulent nature of our profession. The structure of the coursework is excellent as well. And the topics are so contemporary that we not only learn the theory but their application in the demanding challenges we face as LE professionals. It is by far the best program I have seen compared to all the others my colleagues attend online.”

– Jennifer Montoya, Criminal Investigator

“Creating change within my field is what inspires me to study, even when I have had a long shift. I believe that having more knowledge will not just give you a career advantage; it will make you a better person. What I like about this degree program is that it is very contemporary, teaching students current issues that face today’s law enforcement leaders. The leadership skills we’re developing from this program can be used in any career field.” [Read more]

– Alan Mills, U.S. Border Patrol

“I chose USD for the simple fact that no other school provided the type of degree program I was looking for. I’ve had a lot of negative leadership throughout my law enforcement career. Based on my personal experience, I wanted to make that change. I knew I needed a program that was based in leadership, but focused on law enforcement. Other universities had ‘Global Leadership’ type programs, but these did not suit what I needed as a LE Professional.”

– Aaron Stronczek, Corrections Officer

“The LEPSL program has been a great experience and has taught me some very relevant information about law enforcement. The discussions between fellow students and the instructors is very progressive and forward thinking.”

– Paul Jacome, Sheriff’s Sergeant

“I enrolled in this program because of the reputation USD holds. I was previously enrolled with a different university and was greatly disappointed. I felt as though the staff and faculty were not of the quality of education I was looking for in a Master’s program. In my previous experience, I also found a lack of practicality or connection between my profession and the education I was receiving. I am extremely happy that this has not been the case at USD. Rather this program has prepared me not only academically, but professionally set me on a platform above the others.”

– Erika Rochel, Sheriff Detentions

“When looking at schools, I valued the history and reputation of USD. I identified with the small campus feel, and first name interactions I had with everyone through the enrollment process. The advisors, coordinators and professors made me feel like a person – not another student number!”

– Cristobal Dominguez, Police Sergeant

“I chose this program because of the history and reputation of the University of San Diego. The instructors in the program have a lot of experience and most importantly, current experience. This program helped me improve as a leader and furthermore expanded my critical thinking skills as a result of the challenging topics that were discussed in each course. “

– Felix Salazar, DA Investigator