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Community Protectors

Community Protectors

As soon as we are old enough, we are taught to dial 911 in an emergency. Some people go on to learn more. And some people learn how to answer that call.

Paramedics, EMTs, law enforcement and corrections officers. Santa Fe College has certificate and degree programs in all of these careers, offering state-of-the-art training for the first responders who keep our community and others safe on a daily basis.

The Santa Fe College Institute of Public Safety (IPS) is located at the Kirkpatrick Center, a half mile from the Gainesville Regional Airport in northeast Gainesville. The institute recently underwent an $8 million renovation and expansion project. A new 24,000-square-foot facility is dedicated to classrooms and state-of-the-art simulation spaces. Older buildings were renovated to accommodate a growing administrative staff and faculty.

The expansion includes a fully operational Main Street area which will give law enforcement, EMT and paramedic trainees an environment for realistic scenario-based training exercises. Cameras, microphones, speakers, projection screens even walls are configurable, making it possible to replicate home or business settings, giving students the practice they need in a variety of realistic working conditions.

Top :: IPS director Tom Ackerman with law enforcement and EMT students at their new training facility. Ackerman served concurrently as a police officer and an EMT in the Detroit area for nearly 10 years before becoming a federal agent for 24 years. He helped guide the Kirkpatrick Center expansion based on his service as a national training manager at FLETC.

Learning Opportunities

Bachelor’s degrees

-Organizational Management

Associate degrees

-Criminal Justice Technology

-Emergency Medical Services



-Crossover Correctional Officer to Law Enforcement

-Crossover Law Enforcement to Correctional

-Emergency Medical Technician

-Equivalency of Training

-Law Enforcement

See Also


For more information about programs in public safety,


Earning Opportunities 

National Salary Rates, Median Wage*

-Police/Sheriff’s Office Deputies: $28.69/hr

-Detective/Criminal Investigator: $37.56/hr

-EMT/Paramedic: $15.71/hr

All stats from Bureau of Labor Statistics–2016

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