News Release

LC-CICan-Police-Cadet-Training-award.jpg Lethbridge College received a gold Program Excellence award today at the Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) annual conference in Victoria. The award was for the competency-based Police Cadet Training program.

The innovative and collaborative program meets the specific needs of southern Alberta police services and is the only police training program of its kind at a public college in Canada.

“Our former dean for the Centre for Justice and Human Services, Marty Thomsen, had a vision to build a program that ensured the needs of the region were being met,” says Dr. Paula Burns, Lethbridge College President and CEO. “Our faculty and curriculum design team took great time and care to create a program that can be offered anywhere to any police service with the need for this training. We are pleased to have created a program that involves so many partners within the college as well as within the larger community.”

The Police Cadet Training program was designed to meet industry demand for officers who had mastered both hard skills, such as firearms use, and soft skills, such as interpersonal communication, ethical accountability and teamwork.

“The police agencies look to us to give them the educational pieces,” says Barb Mantello, co-chair of the School of Justice Studies. “And we look to the police agencies to give us the industry competencies that we can embed in this education experience.”

The program launched in March 2017, following consultations that began with the Lethbridge Police Service (LPS). An initial intake of 10 LPS cadets took a 17-week program at LPS headquarters. By graduation, eight members of the class successfully demonstrated their competence to take on the role expected of them as front-line officers.

“This training model produced a class of recruits with developed skill sets above and beyond what we have achieved in previous classes,” says LPS Chief Robert A. Davis. “The high level of collaboration between the police service and the college has resulted in a sustainable program with competencies and scenarios that are interchangeable and can be adapted as issues in policing emerge and public safety evolves.”

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(l to r): Andy McGrogan, Medicine Hat Police Service Chief; Barb Mantello, School of Justice Studies co-chair; Erica Cormack, Learning Experience designer; Erin Howard, Production Team lead; Jim Laing, School of Justice Studies instructor

The Police Cadet Training program is open to students who have already been hired or sponsored by a police service. The program has been adopted by the Medicine Hat, Taber, CP Rail and Blood Tribe police services. The inclusion of the Blood Tribe is particularly notable as it the is the first time that an Indigenous police service in Canada has trained outside of the RCMP Academy, Depot Division in Regina.

 “The Cadet Training Program was not only one of the most beneficial courses I’ve taken, but one of the most enjoyable as well,” says Cst. Allison Williams, Lethbridge Police Service. “As a Lethbridge College graduate from the Criminal Justice - Policing program, it was a smooth transition into my policing career with the same school and instructors. The program not only prepared me for the intense training with Lethbridge Police, but helped prepare me for my first day on the street as a constable.”

Program developers have spoken with Alberta’s Ministry of Advanced Education and Ministry of Justice and Solicitor General about growth opportunities for the program, and have been invited to present their findings to police services and post-secondary institutes across North America.

CICan is the national and international voice of Canada’s publicly supported colleges, institutes and polytechnics. The association works with industry and social sectors to train 1.5 million learners of all ages and backgrounds at campuses serving over 3,000 urban, rural and remote communities in Canada.

“It is because of dedicated people working hard every day to improve educational programs and campus life, that colleges and institutes are able to offer such remarkable student experiences and training opportunities,” says Denise Amyot, CICan President and CEO. “We are thrilled to honour these leaders and innovators who make the entire system stronger, more inclusive and more responsive to the needs of students as well as employers.”

The Colleges and Institutes Canada Awards Program recognizes and promotes excellence within Canadian colleges, institutes, cégeps, university colleges and polytechnics. The awards showcase the extraordinary contribution of individuals to their college/institute communities and highlight the role of our institutions in social, cultural and economic development.

Criminal Justice programming has been a staple at Lethbridge College for nearly 50 years. The School of Justice Studies offers Correctional Studies and Criminal Justice – Policing diploma programs, along with a Justice Studies – Bachelor of Applied Arts degree program. Anyone interested in pursuing these programs can email or call 403-329-7246 for more information.