SJR State welcomes Jeffrey Lee as dean of criminal justice and public safety
St. Johns River State College welcomes Jeffrey Lee as dean of the College’s criminal justice and public safety program. Lee brings an extensive background to this position, including working as a special agent for the Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco and, most recently, serving as a criminal justice professor at Troy University for 14 years. He has also worked as a probation officer for the Department of Corrections, Probation and Parole Services and as a deputy sheriff for the Baker County Sheriff’s Office. Lee has also received many specialized criminal justice certifications and at least 14 professional awards.
Lee, who has a Ph.D. in Administration of Justice from the University of Southern Mississippi, said his decision to accept his new position was solidified by the opportunity to interview the Academy’s current faculty and staff during the hiring process. “I just found them to be so impressive and dedicated to student success and the quality of the criminal justice training that it really made me more committed to making this move,” he said. “The first couple of weeks into the job affirmed that even more. It’s very inspiring to see how dedicated they are to student success.”
With the Academy already operating extremely well, and with high passing rates, Lee said his goal as dean is to maintain what has already been obtained. “We’re going to continue to do that while seeking to improve in areas we see the need to improve upon,” he said. “But the Academy is already doing a really good job.”
Lee has his sights set on expanding the Academy’s outreach to the community. He’d like this effort to include the Academy becoming a resource for criminal justice agencies, providing officers with advanced specialized classes and other opportunities to aid in advancement or promotion within their departments.
Increasing enrollment and retention in the College’s Academy and/or degree programs is also on Lee’s to-do list. “One of the things that I would like to do is reach out to the various high schools in our area that have criminal justice programs and see what kind of partnerships can be formed, such as dual-enrollment opportunities and ways for high school graduates who are interested in careers in the field to seamlessly move right into our associate program, Academy program or both. That’s something I’d like to do in the near future. I’d like to know how we can assist in their programs as they develop and grow.”
Additionally, increasing the social media visibility of Academy students during their training is another of Lee’s goals. “I’d like to get potential students excited and encouraged by seeing what current students are doing,” he said. “I love the profession of criminal justice, and although it may not be for everyone, it is a very honorable and noble profession that can provide people with a great sense of satisfaction. I found the hands-on skill acquisition -- such as driving, arrest techniques, firearms, first aid and more -- exciting to learn, and I think a lot of other students will as well.”
In addition to Lee’s doctorate, he has also earned a Master of Science in Criminal Justice from the University of Alabama, a Bachelor of Science in Criminology from Florida State University, and an Associate in Arts from Valencia Community College.
SJR State’s criminal justice programs include the Florida Law Enforcement Academy, Florida Corrections Officer Academy, Computer Related Crime Investigation and Criminal Justice Technology and are offered on the St. Augustine campus. Cadets receive job-related training for entry-level employment in their career field and are eligible to take the state certification exam upon completion of the corrections and law enforcement basic recruit programs.
Day classes for Florida Law Enforcement Academy begin January 9, 2018. For more information, contact SJR Sate’s criminal justice academy at (904) 808-7490 or visit the website at SJRstate.edu/criminaljustice.html.
Jeffrey Lee has joined SJR State as the dean of criminal justice and public safety. Lee brings with him an extensive criminal justice and public safety background, including serving as a professor of criminal justice at Troy University for 14 years.
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