Considered one of the leading institutions of higher education for law enforcement degrees, John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City serves students who wish to become police or public safety officials on the local, state, or federal level. Although John Jay School of Criminal Justice is now a premiere liberal arts college, in its earliest incarnations the school merely provided expanded police science courses to prospective officers of the New York City Police Department.
John Jay College of Criminal Justice has its roots in 1954, when the New York City Police Department and City College teamed together to create a Police Science program at the Baruch School of Business and Public Administration. In addition to courses specially developed for police officers, the school offered liberal arts courses that promoted a well-rounded education. The response to the program at City College was overwhelming, and just 10 years later, the New York Board of Higher Education established a specialized degree for police science.
To accommodate the flood of students seeking this degree, the College of Police Science opened its doors in 1965. Although the school was affiliated with City College, classes were initially held at the New York City Police Academy. By 1966, officials realized that the school’s name did not accurately reflect its diverse mission and broad curriculum. At that time, they voted to adopt the John Jay College of Criminal Justice moniker. Notable alumni of John Jay College of Criminal Justice include Petri Hawkins-Byrd, the bailiff on the Judge Judy television program; writers Dorothy Uhnak and Jennings Michael Burch; and forensic scientist Henry Lee.