St. Mary's University 1 Camino Santa MariaSan Antonio, TX 78228 +1-210-436-3011 St. Mary's University logo William Joseph Chaminade


  • M.S., Sul Ross State University
  • B.A., St. Mary’s University


Professor John Ortega has over 15 years of experience in public safety. Having served as a firefighter/EMT for seven years and for nine years as a criminal investigator specializing in arson and bomb related crimes. Ortega believes that a sound social and behavioral science based approach is a critical step in the successful resolution and investigation of criminal activity. Ortega’s academic interests include criminal investigative analysis, counterterrorism, the etiology of crime and crime typologies. His current research is focused on the concept of hybrid targeted violence and developing effective response tactics for these types of violent crimes. Ortega’s teaching style reflects his strong belief that critical thinking skills, and good interpersonal communication should be essential components of policing in our nation. In addition to teaching at St. Mary’s University, Ortega continues to instruct various classes related to criminal investigation and arson investigation to area law enforcement agencies, and fire departments. He currently serves as the supervisor for the Bexar County Fire Marshal’s Office Arson & Explosion Unit. Ortega is a Master Peace Officer for the State of Texas, holds a B.A. in Criminology from St. Mary’s University, as well as an M.S. in Criminal Justice from Sul Ross State University.


Violent Arson & Criminal Investigative Analysis; June 2015, University of Texas at San Antonio

Arson as a Violent Crime; March 2013 Texas Chapter IAAI Conference

Introduction to Post-Blast Investigation Techniques; San Antonio Police Academy March 2012

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