“What we have is a program called Police Foundations and it’s geared towards people who are interested in getting in the police and police-related fields and who want to get a good solid grounding in those fields,” says Philip Sampo, a professor at Centennial College’s Police Foundations undertaking. “We now have a course called Police Prep that we’ve integrated into our program, which assists you in actually getting through all of the testing that you’ll be required to do. Being hands-on and actually experiencing what it is that’s out there is a huge part of this program. We want them to know what it’s like to give evidence in a simulated courtroom and we actually built a simulated courtroom here at Centennial for them to do that. We want them to know what it means if you’re at a crime scene and you’re investigating, what it is that’s truly important to be preserving and looking for. When you’re doing something like community-based policing, we want them to know how to dissect a problem. All of these things are some of the main focuses we try to get across to our students. I really enjoy the uniform [that students wear]. It’s the integration of reality into our program.”
Philip does a fantastic job of describing Centennial College’s Police Foundations program, which is facilitated out of Progress Campus and takes two years to complete. Let’s take a closer look at some of the specifics. Applicants must possess at minimum an Ontario Secondary Diploma or equivalent or be 19 years of age or older. In addition, they must have compulsory English 12C or U credits or skills assessment or equivalent. English proficiency will also be considered and a program information session may be required. Applicants should also know that some program experiences might require a criminal reference check.
There is also a host of essential necessities that are typical in policing. Students should have no criminal record, must possess a valid driver’s license with a clean driving record and must have valid first aid and/or CPR certification. In addition, there are physical requirements such as: vision checks, standard normal hearing, physical fitness and readiness for the Physical Readiness Evaluation for Police (PREP) test. Lastly, applicants for police services careers in Ontario must be able to pass a security clearance, background investigation and credit and reference checks.
Once accepted, students participate in intense training equivalent to that of a paramilitary environment, which helps them to develop discipline and deportment. Through courses that use real-life experiences and case studies Police Foundations teaches students to: initiate, promote and facilitate partnerships to meet community policing and security needs; apply fundamental concepts of political science, law and legislative policy making and public administration to the provision of police services; assess crisis intervention strategies; and develop strategies to assist crime victims; document, prepare and assist in the presentation of court cases in compliance with criminal and provincial law, rules of evidence and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms; assess the use of police powers; and assess information-gathering skills used in basic investigative techniques
Graduates of Police Foundations can apply for positions as police officers, customs officers, security officers and more. Graduates are well prepared to apply for positions with the Provincial Police Services, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Armed Forces and more