The first cohort of graduates from Trent University Durham Greater Toronto Area’s Policing & Community Well-Being (PLCW) program are finding fast career success as they transition into the workforce post-graduation.
Recent grads Robyn Dombrowski and Jack McQuoid are both moving along in the Ontario Provincial Police Force (OPP) hiring process, impressing interviewers with extensive de-escalation, community engagement, and inclusivity skills and experience gained through the PLCW program.
Following a successful interview process, Robyn will begin recruitment training this month. Jack has started in the OPP Auxiliary, a group of volunteers who work with regular-force officers.
Gaining the competitive edge for career success
According to Robyn, the PLCW program’s unique focus on community well-being and numerous volunteer opportunities gave her a distinct edge during the OPP interview process.
“A focus in many interviews was the community involvement experience I had,” she says. “The OPP makes it clear they are looking for extensive, continued volunteer efforts within your community. From a community well-being aspect, learning how to recognize underlying issues when approaching situations in the field was extremely valuable.“ We learned about mental health, addictions, displaced people, and all the nuances that go along with interacting with marginalized groups.”
Similarly, Jack credits many skills he uses daily as an Auxiliary constable, to the PLCW program. The course that stood out the most for him was Mental Health and Addictions.
“That one for me was really big. I learned about some really important issues and built a deeper understanding of different perspectives within our communities,” says Jack.
The program’s hands-on approach gives students the chance to give a research presentation to community members, something Jack says helped him build confidence and feel career-ready prior to graduation.
“I gave a presentation on a strategy to address human trafficking issues in Durham,” says Jack. “Later, a member of the Durham Regional Police Force requested more information on that strategy, so that follow-up was rewarding.”
As Robyn and Jack begin new careers in law enforcement, they hope to use their community well-being skills to bring a fresh, compassionate perspective to policing, with a focus on people first.