Modern advancement in transportation, communications, and commerce have rapidly shifted how we manage our daily lives. Today, at the press of a button we can order groceries and have them delivered, instead of venturing to the store during a busy week. This progress has eased the handling of both professional and personal business worldwide.
Todays’ conveniences keep our lives moving- as we have adapted to their use, so have criminals. Unfortunately, there will always be those who seek to prey on others and exploit advances in technology and other contemporary tools. To meet Canada’s ever-evolving public safety and security needs, Wilfrid Laurier’s online Master in Public Safety program helps professionals expand on their competencies with crime prevention and management.
A Closer Look at Public Safety
Public Safety encompasses the diverse needs of citizens, communities, and the nation as a whole. Due to the unique requirements of threat management, public safety has four pillars: national security, border strategies, countering crime, and emergency management.
Why Do We Need Public Safety?
A quick glimpse of recent headlines warrants the need for societal safety:
Flooding in Ontario required a federal response by The Government Operations Centre. Officials from the Centre worked closely with federal and Ontario partners to deliver assistance to those in need.[i]
The Government of Canada is investing $2.3 million in Manitoba’s, “Take Action Against Gun and Gang Violence” Initiative. The funding will support the Initiatives five-pronged strategy against gang and gun violence including, “intelligence collection and sharing; education and awareness; disruption and enforcement; community supervision, monitoring, and gang-exit strategies; and performance measurement.”[ii]
A Statistics Canada survey revealed that 1 in 5 Canadian companies was cyber-attacked last year. The report also broke down the expenses of these attacks showing that Canadian companies spent roughly “$8 billion on cybersecurity staff and contractors, in addition to $4 billion on related software and hardware, and $2 billion on other prevention and recovery measures.”[iii]
Canadian Centre for Addictions reports that in the last 10 years organized crime has made Canada a major supplier of illegal drugs such as ecstasy and methamphetamine worldwide. As a result, Canadian gangs and community violence have been on the rise as illicit substances get produced and trafficked across borders.[iv]
For individuals, communities, organizations, and the nation, any of these events can create major issues in functioning, cause financial and emotional turmoil, and seriously threaten the safety and wellbeing of others. The reality of cyber-crime, threats to geographic information systems, illegal weapon and drug distribution, and extreme weather conditions have all contributed to new challenges in keeping Canadians safe.
Protecting a Nation
The needs of public safety and security are always shifting, making organizational preparedness essential. Maintaining a network of equipped public safety professionals requires investment from public and private institutions. Public Safety Canada takes the lead in coordinating public, private, and community stakeholders to facilitate emergency response and prevention. One way they contribute by partnering with higher education institutions, such as Laurier, to ensure academic curriculum aligns with the modernization of needs in the nation.
Public Safety professionals must possess a high level of training and specialization. Laurier’s online Master of Public Safety broadens the scope of knowledge within the public safety sector. Students can also pursue one out of five graduate diplomas including GIS and data analytics, national security, border strategies, countering crime, emergency management. These concentrated pillars directly mirror the requirements of public safety in modern society.
Laurier’s online Master of Public Safety program is flexible for working professionals. To learn more, speak with an advisor here.