David R. Heffernan

Professor, Criminal Justice Chair
Osceola, Lake Nona, & Poinciana Campuses

Previously the director of Valencia's School of Public Safety, which provides academy training for law enforcement, corrections and juvenile justice and operates the states second largest advanced/specialized training program. Experienced administrator (Superintendent) of juvenile detention centers and residential treatment programs in Oklahoma and Florida. Director of juvenile residential diagnostic and evaluation center in Oklahoma.

Veteran US Air Force Pilot; (Combat Missions; Operation Just Cause & Operation Desert Shield.) Airline Transport Pilot; Instructor Pilot; Glider, Single-engine, Multi-engine, Instruments.

BA in Psychology, University of Hawaii, MS in Criminal Justice, and Masters Certificate in Crime Analysis, University of Central Florida. Certified Public Manager, Florida State University. Certificate in Plant Based Nutrition, Cornell University. Certificate in Servant-Lead Institutions by Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership.

FDLE General & Defensive Tactics Instructor; Federal Air Marshal Crew Member Self Defense Instructor; 25 Years of Criminal Justice Experience.

Nationally recognized Aviation Author. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NHNi0T8Wy9c

Student feedback;

"I love this class; it is so much fun and I learned a lot. This professor is also one of my favorites because he is very chill and funny. He's also very helpful and consistent."

"This professor really cares about you. He is great at grading after each module. His assignments build on each other to help you create a foundation for all the learning. On every assignment he provides great feedback to help you improve on your next."

"I absolutely loved this course. It was very well organized by the professor and he did a phenomenal job. I was highly interested in the content. He was great with reminders and communication. The grading was fair and this was by far my favorite course this semester."

"I have found Professor Heffernan is very engaged with his class and gives us good feedback on our work. I love hearing from him when I turn in my discussion posts/tests to see what I may need to work on or what I did well. Professor Heffernan is also very understanding and I feel like if I came to him with an issue in the class or if I was having trouble understanding the material, he would genuinely want to help."


Osceola Campus
3-308, 1800 Denn John Ln, Kissimmee, FL 34744
(407) 582-4223
Faculty WebSite


As posted on curriculum.