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Local police officers pursue micro-credential to support leadership learning

Medicine Hat Police Service officers engage in patrol supervisor micro-credential
December 20, 2021

Medicine Hat College (MHC) awarded its first micro-credential last week to Medicine Hat Police Service (MHPS) officers through the Patrol Supervisor course.

Micro-credentials are defined as short-term programs or competencies that can stand-alone or complement traditional credentials, and this option provided the perfect opportunity for MHC to support competencies valued by MHPS in a collaborative way.

The partnership between college and community emerged as MHPS looked to refresh its training for experienced officers moving into leadership roles. They engaged the college to enhance the design and delivery of their previous Patrol Supervisor course to ensure instructional and assessment goals were achieved.

“Patrol supervision is a constant barrage. Critical operational decisions need to made very quickly. Supervisors need to know how to prioritize calls, when to bring in other teams, and how to manage intense, complex scenarios,” explains Inspector Joe West, who first introduced the training at MHPS in 2004.

But after several years of not running the course, West recognized it was time to bring back the opportunity and started exploring new ways to equip officers with the necessary knowledge, skills and confidence to fill a leadership role within the patrol unit.

“We made it a goal to leverage access to our local post-secondary institution. Medicine Hat College did a great job providing the academic and virtual backbone to the courses which were delivered in a professional package online,” says West.

After participating in the course development process, Jason Openo, director of teaching and learning at MHC, gained new appreciation for the impact micro-credentials can have in the community.

“Patrol supervisors need to keep their wits about them in very challenging situations. This course was ultimately about how to make good decisions and ensure the right people have the right tools and the right mindset to respond. The officers were highly engaged in the training, sharing their experiences and debriefing incidents where leadership decisions made the difference between life and death.”

After serving with MHPS for nearly 15 years, Constable Darryl Hubich recently returned to a patrol team after three years in a specialty unit. Often finding himself in the role of sergeant, he chose to take the patrol supervisor course which provided opportunities to revisit his previous training and identify areas for growth.

“Legislation, policies, technology, and expectations change very quickly in policing and I felt this training would be a good way to refresh some of my skills,” explains Hubich, who had taken the original course in 2013.

The focus on creating a respectful workplace was also appreciated, and Hubich reaffirmed his responsibility in supporting a positive professional culture.

“I believe in leading by example and have always prided myself on helping junior members with investigations, report writing, and other work. After taking this course, I now believe it is every bit as important to have the courage to lead by example when it comes to discouraging disrespectful or hurtful comments and behaviours and will challenge myself to be more invested in cultural change within the profession.”

Given the flexible delivery, valuable content, and professional design of this course, Hubich says he would consider taking additional micro-credentials while the college looks forward to future possibilities.

“The Patrol Supervisor course is our first example of industry-driven corporate training where credentials are recognized in a completely new way,” adds Openo. “At the completion of the Patrol Supervisor course, or any MHC micro-credential, learners receive a digital badge via their MyCreds account that can be shared through social networks to highlight professional or personal achievement.”

Above photo: Inspector Joe West leads Constable Darryl Hubich through the Patrol Supervisor micro-credential course.

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