The graduation ceremonies of the 2020 Medicine Hat Police Service (MHPS), Blood Tribe Police Service (BTPS) and Taber Police Service (TPS) Cadet Training program took place on Friday. Due to COVID-19 health restrictions, the ceremony was closed to members of the public and media.
Twelve cadets graduated from the 20-week training program, including one TPS, four BTPS and seven MHPS cadets, who met or exceeded provincial standards in the areas of police recruit training. The cadets also received academic accreditation through Lethbridge College (LC) for the knowledge and skills they acquired through this competency-based educational program.
The training program is the result of a collaborative partnership between the MHPS, BTPS, TPS, Lethbridge Police Service (LPS) and Lethbridge College. While a traditional classroom environment played an important role, much of the learning and assessment took place in real-life settings throughout the community. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, adjustments to program delivery allowed learning to continue seamlessly in a virtual environment to ensure the safety of the cadets and instructors.
“The strength of the partnership between the college and the Medicine Hat, Blood Tribe and Taber Police Services allowed us to be adaptable and flexible, despite the unique challenges COVID-19 presented,” says Dr. Jeanine Webber, Dean of Lethbridge College’s Centre for Justice and Human Services. “We were able to facilitate an exceptional blended educational and training experience for the cadets. We are honoured to assist our police partners with preparing cadets for their policing careers and congratulate the cadets on their graduation.”
“Three police services working with the LC adds such a rich and diverse experience for our cadets,” says MHPS Chief Andy McGrogan. “This training has been a tremendous growth and learning opportunity for both the cadets and our entire organization.”
“This is the third year that the BTPS has been involved in this training program and we are very proud of the cadets and our continued partnerships with southern Alberta police services and Lethbridge College,” says BTPS Chief Kyle Melting Tallow. “Even through this difficult time of the pandemic, everyone involved came together to ensure that this program remained successful.”
“We are fortunate to have this partnership where an innovative police recruit curriculum and first class instruction has been deployed within this police academy model,” says TPS Chief Dr. Graham Abela. “Together we can achieve greatness in public safety, and this is simply another excellent example of how we do things right in southern Alberta. I would like to thank the MHPS for its leadership and support to our organization in this regard, and Lethbridge College for its commitment to police training and the development of our new officers.”
Following graduation, the cadets will return to their communities to join their respective agencies and begin their policing careers.