9/11 Commissioner’s Visit Commemorates New Criminal Justice and Public Safety Institute

Friday, September 11, 2009

Eight years after 9/11, many Americans have recovered, healed.  Safety concerns have been bandaged with new regulations and long security lines at airports. For many, the dust has certainly settled. But John F. Lehman ’64 (B.S.), Ph.D., knows there is still a lot of cleaning up left to do.

In recent years, Lehman, former 9/11 Commission member, Secretary of the Navy and founding partner of J.F. Lehman and Company, has become a catalyst for reform in emergency response and homeland security practices nationally as well as at Saint Joseph's University. In a 2005 speech to the University community, Lehman called both administrators and responders to take action.

“We must do something with a unity of purpose, we must be prepared and we must prevent something like this from ever happening again,” he warned.  “We don’t have time to chew on the problem.  We need to focus our efforts now.”

Saint Joseph's University answered the call.

“After Lehman’s poignant address, we looked at the strengths of the criminal justice, public safety management, homeland security and environmental and safety management programs,” said Patricia Griffin ’81 (B.S.), director of the new Criminal Justice and Public Safety Institute.  “We assessed the needs of law enforcement and public safety entities in a post-9/11 world, and realized we had the resources to do something significant.”  Griffin pooled University resources in the spirit of collaboration and exigency to create the Institute which now includes all of the previously separate programs.­­­

On Sept. 18, Lehman will return to campus to salute the inaugural year of the Criminal Justice and Public Safety Institute that he inspired.  As one of the only graduate studies programs in homeland security and emergency response in the nation, the Institute enhances the coursework previously offered by the separate programs, giving a well-rounded, practical education to professionals in the field.

During his on-campus visit, Lehman will share his expertise in a variety of settings while learning about the Institute and Saint Joseph's University’s role in regional emergency response.  His visit will culminate in a public address at 3 p.m., in Wolfington Teletorium, Mandeville Hall and it is open to all.  His speech, entitled “The Lessons of 9/11: What Have We Learned, What Have We Accomplished, What Remains to Be Done?,” will be followed by a reception in the foyer of Mandeville Hall.  The event is free but space is limited. Those interested in attending are asked to RSVP via e-mail or phone to Becky Jurich at rjurich@sju.edu or (610) 660-3228.

In addition to his keynote address, Lehman will be taking an active role in local emergency preparedness.  He will participate in a roundtable discussion with a blue ribbon steering committee of local emergency responders, officials and representatives from the Institute and the University’s Early Responders Distance Learning Center (ERDLC). Representatives from the Philadelphia Police Commissioner and Fire Commissioner’s offices are among the local responders slated to participate in the panel.

For more information about the Criminal Justice and Public Safety Institute or about Dr. Lehman’s visit to campus, please visit http://www.sju.edu/academics/centers/cjps/.

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