March 21, 2019Print | PDF
Brantford police officers Sgt. Raj Saini and Const. Kari Drake decided to go back to school to achieve a personal goal.
The officers are only part way through the online Master of Public Safety program offered through Wilfrid Laurier University’s Faculty of Human and Social Sciences, but they have already seen a shift in their perspectives at work.
The Master of Public Safety program is designed to create graduates who can lead, assess, improve and shape the future of public safety. It is the first program of its kind in Canada and is the only program to align with the initiatives of public safety in the Canadian context.
Saini has been a police officer for 20 years. He previously obtained a degree in psychology and sociology and always wanted to return to school to get his master’s.
“The program broadens your perspectives on how policing should be done,” said Saini. “The instructors have a vast amount of experience that they’re passing down. You learn with a leadership perspective on community-based policing initiatives and how to implement them, how to be diverse and reflective of your community and how you’re going to accomplish that.”
For Drake, who has worked with Brantford Police Service for 14 years, obtaining a master’s degree aligns with her personal goal of pursuing education on an ongoing basis. While working through the course, she has seen a change in her perspectives as a police officer.
“We’re looked at as professionals in the community. For me, this program allows me to have a better understanding and knowledge of the diversity of the community we are serving,” said Drake.
The online nature of the program allows Drake the flexibility to continue her education while working.
“This course has given me the opportunity where I could learn online while working full-time and having other responsibilities,” said Drake. “I found that the professors have been fantastic at providing flexibility, especially if you get stuck at work on a call.”
Saini sees the flexibility of the course work as an asset. He can complete his assignments on his own time between shifts, and strike a balance that allows for work, studies and family life.
Both students are working towards bettering their capabilities and knowledge as members of the Brantford Police Service, something Brantford Police Chief Geoff Nelson values in his officers.
“As a police organization we have a responsibility to provide ongoing educational opportunities, thereby providing our members with the knowledge, skills, values, attitudes and understanding they need to remain effective in their role,” said Nelson. “Through education, training and networking our members discover new abilities and ideas, resulting in the Brantford Police Service becoming more productive and innovative. By embracing the concept of career-long learning, and with the availability of quality online learning, we are able to keep pace with societal changes, technological improvements, investigative techniques, changes in law, and best practices in providing innovative police services.”
Laurier offers other online programs including Honours Bachelor of Arts in Policing, Master of Social Work and Master of Computer Science as well as many online courses. To learn more visit: laurierpublicsafety.ca.
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