Students of the Australian Graduate School of Policing and Security (AGSPS) took part in an international residential school in Ottawa, Canada, between the 2-8 July 2019. The school was led by BJBS Course Directors Rosemary Woolston and Brian Daly who, together with Professor/Senator Vernon White, based the school at the Canadian Police College. The 28 Charles Sturt students attending the school came from occupations across the many areas of policing and security services from both Australia and Canada.
The students were able to leave wintery Australia behind for a week, and Ottawa turned on some brilliant summer weather with most days being around 30°C . Numerous guest speakers addressed the students during the school on a number of issues such as leadership, ethics in law enforcement, policing strategies, indigenous issues and professionalism.
Combined with the classroom sessions were a number of field visits to sites in Ottawa, aimed at widening the student’s perception of policing strategies and the relationship to the community. A visit to a local health facility focussing on drug and alcohol replacement therapies, including observing a supervised drug self-injection facility in operation, both informed and challenged the perceptions of those in attendance.
Special mention should also be made of a visit to the school by the new Commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (Mounties), Brenda Luckie. The Commissioner spoke on the many challenges facing her organisation and Canada in general, and gave a lot of her time to a question and answer session for the students.
Excellent feedback was received from the students on the school with particular emphasis on the importance of the sessions, and the way that the lessons learnt can be applied by them, both in their studies and in their professional lives.