Public Safety Academy mission energized by Innovative City and Ivy Tech Community College partnership

Opportunities Grow for Students, Professionals, Community, Region, Beyond

Fort Wayne, Ind. – Highlighting efforts to strengthen the region’s educational opportunities and its economic vitality, Mayor Tom Henry and Ivy Tech Community College–Northeast Chancellor Jerrilee K. Mosier, Ed.D., today detailed plans for a synergistic partnership between the City of Fort Wayne and the college, and a new vision for the future of the Public Safety Academy of Northeast Indiana (PSA).

The alliance will advance the core public-safety mission of the PSA, extend Ivy Tech’s academic reach and create a new collegiate anchor on Fort Wayne’s south side. It also signifies a new operational beginning for the state-of-the-art, public-safety facility. The edifice will be christened the Public Safety Academy: Ivy Tech South Campus.

“A Fort Wayne built for success means that we are constantly transforming our strengths into competitive assets,” said Mayor Henry. “The Public Safety Academy is one of those strengths, and the new partnership with Ivy Tech–Northeast will help to realize its full asset potential while expanding our area’s outstanding educational and economic opportunities.”

“Ivy Tech Community College–Northeast sees this as a great opportunity for the college and the City of Fort Wayne to partner together in continuing the vision of the facility,” said Chancellor Mosier. “Embedding a higher education component to the regional training mission allows us to work together in enhancing and building upon what currently exists.”

Under the agreement, the City will sublease the entire PSA to Ivy Tech, giving the institution the rights to acquire the PSA’s title after nine years. The sublease period defines the remaining term of the PSA’s financing package. 

Building upon the PSA’s founding charter to provide training and educational options to regional first responders and future public-safety leaders, the new framework significantly amplifies collegiate career-education opportunities in the public-safety field. Moreover, it will broaden relationships with area fire and police departments, encouraging a culture of collaboration.

A partner in the PSA since 2007, Ivy Tech–Northeast will continue to offer programs in Criminal Justice, Paralegal Studies, Public Safety Technology and Paramedic Science at the south campus. Enrollment in these program areas exceeded 1,200 students during the 2011-12 academic year.

To increase student curriculum choices and convenience, courses in Liberal Arts, Hospitality Administration, General Education and Human Services are part of the growing possibilities at this location. Some administration and faculty offices are also situated there.

The new relationship signals an increase of about 20 course sections over and above those now offered at the PSA. The physical size of the structure supports future programmatic development and allows Ivy Tech to explore the potential of moving some degree offerings to the facility under the public-safety umbrella.

Underscoring Ivy Tech’s commitment to prospects at the south campus, Jason Jolicoeur, Ph.D., Dean of the School of Public & Social Services and School of Education, has been charged with guiding its development. His resume notes an extensive background in public safety.

“This opens the doors for Ivy Tech to build upon the programs currently housed at the Public Safety Academy,” said Dean Jolicoeur. “We have a strong desire to work with the police and fire academies in identifying training needs at a local, regional and even a national level. This vocational and practical training is a great mix with Ivy Tech’s traditional education.”

The PSA will remain the home of the Fort Wayne Police and Fire departments’ training academies. As an important benefit, the link to Ivy Tech facilitates the pursuit of associate degrees by the trainees.

Additionally, the PSA will continue as the venue for the ongoing, Indiana-mandated, in-service training required of all law enforcement officers. The Fort Wayne Police Department provides more than 18,000 hours of training each year to its officers and has supplied training to 98 departments in the region. Through the partnership, public-safety professionals will be able to secure advanced, professional certifications.

As a local, state and federal resource, the existing training opportunities presented at the PSA by various federal entities will also remain in place.  

The effective blend of the Fort Wayne Police and Fire academies’ technical training skills with the teaching skills of Indiana’s highly regarded community college will augment the PSA’s public-safety training program, making it more attractive to first responders on a regional and national basis.

Reflecting the City’s aggressive economic development stance, the new affiliation is expected to stimulate additional activity and opportunities for investment at Southtown Centre and in Fort Wayne’s southeast quadrant.

Other provisions of and facts related to the new arrangement are as follows:

  • Ivy Tech–Northeast will sublease the entire 132,000 square feet of the PSA. Currently, the college utilizes in excess of 15,000 square feet of space in the structure;
  • The Fort Wayne Police and Fire Department academies will lease approximately 38,000 square feet of space at $10 per square foot annually for the operation of their training facilities;
  • All of the PSA tenant leases will be honored, with future options for renegotiation;
  • The PSA will serve in its uninterrupted role as an Emergency Operation Center site for the City;
  • At present, the City pays $225,000 in rent annually for the PSA space used by the police and fire departments. Ivy Tech pays nearly $150,000 for its yearly rent of space, also at a rate of $10 per square foot. These rental fees go to fund PSA operations. An additional City contribution of $400,000 was made to the facility’s budget in 2012;
  • The new pact assumes the payment of $380,000 annually in rent by the City to Ivy Tech and the elimination of any additional City cost contribution moving forward; and
  • Over the final phase of the PSA’s financing package, taxpayers will save approximately $300,000 per year, or $2.7 million throughout the nine-year agreement.

The Indiana General Assembly appropriated $30 million to promote the economic revitalization of the former Southtown Mall area and the development of the PSA. The funding incorporated Community Revitalization Economic Development (CReED) tax credits, state financial support to Ivy Tech and County Economic Development Income Tax (CEDIT) dollars.

Ivy Tech Community College’s State Board of Trustees voiced its endorsement for the proposal at its meeting on August 9. Pending action by Fort Wayne City Council and all other necessary approvals, it is anticipated that the new sublease will be finalized and in place by the close of 2012.

Ivy Tech Community College

Ivy Tech Community College is the state’s largest public postsecondary institution and the nation’s largest singly accredited statewide community college system. Ivy Tech serves nearly 200,000 students annually and has campuses throughout Indiana. It functions as the state’s engine of workforce development, offering affordable degree programs and training that are aligned with the needs of its community along with courses and programs that transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association.

Ivy Tech Community College–Northeast is located in Fort Wayne and serves nine counties in northeast Indiana. It is the second largest region in the Ivy Tech system. Ivy Tech–Northeast has grown from 131 students enrolled in three programs in August 1969, when the College opened its doors in rented facilities in a former high school, to nearly 12,000 students enrolled in eight schools and more than 35 degree programs in 2012.

With recent growth and record enrollment, Ivy Tech–Northeast expanded its physical boundaries to the North Campus — just a half-mile north of the Coliseum Campus building. This has provided room for additional classroom and laboratory space; growth for schools, departments, and offices; and student life and campus activity space. The North Campus currently consists of four Ivy Tech buildings — The Steel Dynamics, Inc. Keith E. Busse Technology Center, Student Life Center, Harshman Hall and Carroll Hall.

In the fall 2012, Ivy Tech will dedicate two new facilities on the city’s northwest side tied to specific degree programs—Ivy Tech’s Aviation Center at Smith Field (Cook Road) and Ivy Tech’s Auto Body Center (Opportunity Drive). 

Public Safety Academy of Northeast Indiana

The Public Safety Academy of Northeast Indiana is a state-of-the-art regional facility that provides on-site and distance-learning training and educational offerings to first responders and future public-safety leaders. It employs innovative technology and best practices in the delivery of it programs throughout a 12-county region in northeast Indiana. Its mission is to:

  1. Deliver integrated public-safety training to over 5,000 regional first responders.
  2. Provide education for future public-safety leaders in a dynamic learning environment. This education will be delivered by an educational consortium that includes a regional career program high school, the Anthis Career Center; a state-level community college, Ivy Tech Community College; and accredited four-year colleges and universities, Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne and Trine University.

Employ best practices and innovative technology in public-safety training and education.

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