Lethbridge College’swelcomed a new class of 34 cadets this morning from five different agencies. This class is unique as it marks the first time in Alberta’s history that police recruits and community peace officer recruits will train side-by-side.
A total of 34 cadets will take part, including 23 from Lethbridge Police Service, three from the Blood Tribe Police Service, one from the Taber Police Service, four from the Canadian Pacific Police Service and three from the Manitoba First Nations Police Service.
“To be counted on to provide this training to such a varied group of agencies is a testament to the expertise of our faculty and our curriculum design,” says Dr. Jeanine Webber, Dean of the Centre for Justice and Human Services. “Our competency-based training model ensures that cadets receive training that prepares them with all of the skills needed to succeed once they join their respective organizations.”
Lethbridge College instructors and Lethbridge Police Service members team up to ensure the students receive both hard skills, such as firearms use, and soft skills, such as interpersonal communication, ethical accountability and teamwork needed for policing. Cadets receive academic accreditation through Lethbridge College for completing the training.
The cadets, who bring a range of experience and come from diverse backgrounds, will undergo 22 weeks of classroom modules and scenario-based training followed by several weeks with a field training officer before they are ready to hit the street on their own.
“We are very excited that the Manitoba First Nations Police Service is joining the training this year,” says Webber. “Not only for the unique perspectives the recruits bring that will enhance the class, but as an indication that the college’s reputation in working with numerous outside agencies over many years is now being recognized throughout western Canada.”
In 2018, the Blood Tribe Police Service became the first Indigenous police service in Canada to train outside of the RCMP Academy, Depot Division in Regina. The Manitoba First Nations Police Service is joining them in this round of training.
“We are extremely proud to have members of the Blood Tribe Police Service and the Manitoba First Nations Police Service training alongside our members,” said Lethbridge Police Service Chief Rob Davis. “I have been quite candid that real truth and reconciliation begins to happen when we share, grow and learn together, side by side. It’s real – a lasting memory and impact for everyone that goes beyond any awareness training or a power point. This is an incredible opportunity for all of the agencies and their cadets.”
The college’s Police Cadet Training program was recognized with aby Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) in 2018.