Public Safety Advanced Diploma Program Opens New Career Options

Public Safety Advanced Diploma program opens new career options for graduates, written on a purple background.

“I wouldn’t be where I am now without the Public Safety program. It’s been, honestly, the best decision I’ve ever made.”

That’s Community Safety Officer Jeremy Lennon-Gibson, a 2022 graduate of Assiniboine Community College’s Public Safety advanced diploma program. It’s an eight-month program offered at Assiniboine, that positions previous post-secondary graduates as superior candidates for jobs in policing and other public safety careers.

The Brandon Police Service partners with the college to help deliver the program, which is recognized as Phase A training for BPS recruits. It’s also recognized as basic police recruit training for Manitoba police agencies.

“Pretty much from when I was a kid, I wanted to do law enforcement in some way or another,” says Jeremy.

Jeremy standing in a Peace Officer uniform in front of two police cars with their lights flashing

But he did not take a direct path toward that career. Prior to coming to Assiniboine, Jeremy graduated from the University of Winnipeg with a bachelor’s degree in rhetoric, writing and communications.

Now, he works with the Ste. Anne Police Service.

“I’m loving it. I don’t feel like there is much else out there that would give me the sense of accomplishment that I get from policing,” he says.

So that advanced diploma program works really well because your degree will prepare you more for the classroom work. And it gives you that sense of "okay, well I’m working towards a legitimate career.” This is basically on-the-job training.

Constable Ravyn Duncan’s story is a lot like Jeremy’s.

“I worked retail before coming into the public safety program,” she says.

She graduated from the University of Manitoba with a Bachelor of Arts, with a major in criminology and minor in psychology.

Ravyn Duncan standing in a classroom in her Public Safety uniform

She received a job offer from the Brandon Police Service weeks before graduating from Public Safety in June of this year, and she’s currently in field training with the BPS.

“I want to spend my career as an officer,” she says. “Whether that be on patrol or in different units. I can’t imagine doing any other career now.”

For those considering the college’s Public Safety advanced diploma program, Ravyn has some advice:

Be prepared for long days and nights, but make sure that it’s something you really want to do. It’s a lot of work, so be prepared for everything and give everything you have to it, because it can be so worth it.

For Constable Amanda Conway, the decision to enter policing via the advanced diploma program was logical step on her career path. “I have a Bachelor of Social Work degree from the University of Manitoba,” she says. “I had been working in the justice field for nearly five years, and then I decided that I wanted to go to the policing side of things.”

Amanda is currently working in the BPS Community Support Unit in downtown Brandon.

“Eventually, I want to spend some time in Major Crimes at some point, when I’m done in this section, and eventually promote up through the ranks and see where I end up.”

In terms of career opportunities, she advises future advanced program students.

Amanda wearing a uniform, holding a medal with a white ribbon and two red stripes on it

Sometimes, you have to take stepping stones. You might work at Corrections for a little bit, or you might work as a Sherriff for awhile. But all those things give you valuable experience that you bring with you into policing. The horizons are broad, but your heart needs to be in the right place.

Jeremy echoes that advice.

“If you’re looking for something that’s going to give you purpose, if you’re not quite sure that the path you’re on is the one for you, it’s never too late to try something new. You’re never wasting your time with education.”

“I wouldn’t be where I am now without the Public Safety program. It’s been, honestly, the best decision I’ve ever made.”

Public Safety at Assiniboine

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