Robert J. Miller Homeland Security Education Center (HEC)

Outside of the Homeland Security Education Center

The Robert J. Miller Homeland Security Education Center (HEC) houses the Criminal and Justice Studies and Fire Science Technology programs, Suburban Law Enforcement Academy (SLEA) and COD Police Department.

Pillar from Twin Towers

COD is one of the few educational facilities in the U.S. to receive a relic from the Twin Towers following 9/11.

Street Scene

Located inside the building is a full-scale street scene for real-world training exercises.

Classroom in the HEC

The Forensics Lab is equipped for blood splatter analysis, boot print casting, finger printing, crime scene investigation and photography.


The building's mock courtroom and auditorium, named after the Honorable William J. Bauer, gives students the chance to experience law in person.

The state-of-the-art HEC features: 

  • A full-scale, immersive indoor street scene for force-on-force exercises. This has been considered the crown jewel of the building's advanced training programs.
  • Forensics and cybercrime labs. Every station in labs is equipped with computer technology that allows students to explore the world of Homeland Security.
  • A command center designed to instruct National Incident Management System protocols.
  • A smoke room with moveable walls for EMS, fire rescue simulations. 
  • An outdoor scaling and rappelling tower, and a full-size ambulance.
  • A VirTra V-300 simulator. The simulator provides limitless opportunities for creating real-world scenarios that test first responders and prepare them for what awaits in the community.

The HEC places COD at the forefront of first responder training in the Midwest. Approximately 7,600 individuals receive training through the HEC annually.

Inside the HEC is a beam from the World Trade Center. COD is one of the few educational institutions in the U.S. selected to receive a relic from the Twin Towers following 9/11. The beam is 27" by 127" and weighs more than 1,000 pounds. The HEC has installed a permanent memorial to 9/11 that has as its focal point a ceiling beam from one of the buildings. It serves as a daily reminder to faculty, staff, students and visitors of the privilege and importance of our mission. 

Completed in fall of 2011, this $25 million facility was funded through proceeds from a successful 2002 capital referendum.

Architect/Engineer: Legat Architects
Construction Manager: Power Construction Company