Police-reported crime in Canada, which is measured by both the crime rate and the Crime Severity Index, increased for the fourth consecutive year according to the most recent data provided by Statistics Canada. The challenge of understanding and addressing crime continues to evolve, and the need for experienced, educated public safety professionals continues to grow. As a result, many professionals who have earned a four-year undergraduate degree are seeking additional knowledge and expertise provided by a postgraduate countering crime diploma.
A distinct, specialized countering crime program can benefit both current public safety professionals and others interested in transitioning to new lines of work. Public safety veterans will find that postgraduate education boosts their skills and understanding, equipping them to and gain deeper satisfaction in their work. A countering crime diploma also enables professionals moving into public safety work to do so with confidence.
Students in the countering crime program offered by Wilfrid Laurier University gain an education grounded in reality and aligned with Public Safety Canada’s current initiatives.
The appeal of a countering crime program is rooted in its relevance to real public safety work. Let’s consider careers in which a countering crime diploma would be a clear asset.
Career Possibilities Created by a Countering Crime Diploma
Public Safety Canada (PSC) has established 13 initiatives that guide countering crime efforts across the nation. The intent of these initiatives “is to reduce crime by collaborating with federal, provincial, and territorial partners to design and deliver national programs that are specific and appropriate to regions and communities.”
The initiatives include:
- Indigenous Policing
- Crime Prevention
- Corrections and Criminal Justice
- Organized Crime
- Child Sexual Exploitation on the Internet
- Illicit Drugs
- Contraband Tobacco
- Human Trafficking
- Human Smuggling
- Firearms Legislation for Safer Communities
- Gun and Gang Violence
- Canadian Firearms Advisory Committee
Each of these initiatives creates opportunity and momentum for work in public safety and particularly in work to prevent and address crime. Consider these below examples of countering crime roles.
The job of police officer was recently ranked the 14th best job in Canada. Police officers serve a central role in countering crime, including working to prevent crime, protect citizens, and enforce laws. The field of police work includes a wide range of particular roles and opportunities, such as:
- Chief of Police/Commissioner/Chief Constable
- Deputy Chief of Police/Deputy Chief Constable
- Staff Superintendent
- Staff Inspector
- Sergeant Major
- Staff Sergeant
- Police Constable 1st Class/Detective Constable
Most police officers in Canada need not only a high school diploma but also a college or university degree as well as specialized police training. As our understanding of effective policing has grown, so has the value of postgraduate education, such as a countering crime diploma.
The median salary for a police officer is $88,000, and some advanced and specialized police officers earn much higher salaries. The average base pay for a constable is $119,000 and for a Detective Sergeant is $123,000. These more advanced positions with higher earning potential will be more attainable with the kind of education and insights gained through a countering crime program.
Parole or Probation Officer
The job of probation and parole officer recently was ranked among the top 100 best jobs in Canada. Probation and parole officers split their time between working out in the community and desk work in an office. They participate in countering crime by working with past offenders to help with adjustments, education, and life skills necessary for a productive, law-abiding lifestyle.
Finding work as a parole or probation officer usually requires a university degree. Since effectiveness in the job hinges on the ability to develop and maintain effective relationships with those convicted of crimes, a countering crime program that provides additional education in understanding criminal behaviour is a tremendous benefit.
The average salary for a parole officer in Canada is about $79,000, with an upward earning potential in the range of $88,000.
Crime analysts apply a working understanding of crime and public safety to the analysis and interpretation of data. As we shared at greater length in a previous blog, these specialists work with other law enforcement and public safety professionals to discern crime patterns, trends, series, hot spots, and long-term problems. Crime analysts have the expertise and perspective to find the deeper insights necessary to develop more effective countering crime strategies and help police forces make faster, more accurate decisions.
The role of crime analyst usually requires a bachelor’s degree in a field related to criminal justice, statistics, or social sciences and at least two years of experience in law enforcement or data analysis. A more advanced understanding provided by a countering crime program will aid in the analysis and interpretation of crime data.
One salary resource indicates an average annual crime analyst salary of $78,546 in Canada. Entry-level positions begin at $57,389 per year, and some experienced crime analysts earn up to $100,940 per year.
Fraud investigators conduct inquiries to discern whether a person or entity has attempted or realized financial gain through fraud or deception. They can work in a variety of industries, including insurance, accounting, or banking and finance.
Fraud investigation professionals collect and analyze evidence, in addition to conducting interviews to identify criminal, fraudulent activity. Fraud investigators usually work standard business hours in an office environment, though field investigatory work and court appearances are sometimes required.
Entry-level fraud investigator positions may only require a high school diploma, but preference is given and upper-level roles reserved for those with extensive experience or higher levels of education. Employers often recruit investigators from other public safety careers, such as police officers. Since most fraud investigators work in the private sector, education like a countering crime diploma is generally rewarded as much as -- or more -- than seniority.
The average salary for fraud investigators in Canada is just over $57,000, with an upward range of over $90,000. Again, since fraud investigators usually work for private companies, earning potential tends to be higher than in public sector jobs.
These are, of course, just a sampling of the many jobs in which a countering crime diploma would be particularly useful. A countering crime program also can be an asset in a number of other fields, including corporate and private security, cybersecurity, crime and security policy development, private investigation, corrections, loss prevention, and many others.
How Does a Countering Crime Diploma Aid in Career Growth?
A countering crime program aligned with the Public Safety Canada initiatives will provide not only crucial knowledge but also an invaluable credential for career development and advancement. Consider the learning outcomes of a postgraduate program culminating in a countering crime diploma, which are aimed at better preparing you for real-world career growth.
Strategic Integration of Intelligence
A countering crime program teaches the strategic integration of intelligence into the overall mission of countering crime organizations. This has dramatic impacts, including reducing costs, creating efficiencies, facilitating a supportive and informed command structure, and promoting community engagement and partnerships.
Developing Effective Strategies
Another objective of a countering crime program is the formulation of effective strategies based on performance measures and evidence-based decision making processes. These practices link operational performance with strategic objectives and outcomes.
Understanding Canada’s Diverse Communities
Finally, a sound countering crime diploma program will examine diversity in Canada, including issues related to race, gender, social class, and differentially enabled people, and how these issues are impacted by public safety policies and procedures.
Each of these elements of earning a countering crime diploma will help you in your efforts to be more effective in your work and advance your career. The knowledge and skills gained will empower you to demonstrate new areas of proficiency and expertise, which can lead to promotions and greater responsibility. If your goal is to transition into a new or different line of work in public safety, a countering crime program allows you to build on your previous education and experience.
In either case, postgraduate education, including a countering crime diploma, will allow you to earn more, advance in your career, and access new opportunities. Developing greater expertise in an area that interests you will also help you attain greater job and life satisfaction as you are better able to serve your community.
Benefits of an Online Countering Crime Diploma from Wilfrid Laurier University
The graduate Countering Crime program at Laurier is the only one of its kind in Canada. Created for active professionals looking to build their careers in public safety, the program is designed and led by public safety professionals with industry experience.
Created in alignment with the previously mentioned initiatives of Public Safety Canada, the program is conducted 100% online and offers practical knowledge that is immediately applicable in the office and the field.
At Laurier, you can earn a graduate-level countering crime diploma in just over a year with credits in four primary areas of study.
Public Safety in Canada
This course provides advanced knowledge of the structure, components, and mandates of how governments keep their respective citizens safe from natural disasters, crime, and terrorism. Focusing on the four pillars of public safety in Canada—National Security, Border Strategies, Countering Crime, and Emergency Management—this course is designed to enable you to:
- Recognize the historical foundations of the discipline of public safety.
- Identify, interpret, and differentiate the scope, portfolios, and sub-portfolios within the four pillars of Public Safety Canada.
- Discuss the role and vision of the pillars of Public Safety Canada and analyze their implementation.
- Compare and contrast international variations of public safety and national security.
- Critically analyze the political, economic, and policy factors that impact the role of public safety in Canada.
- Critically analyze changes in organizational structure that have resulted from political, economic, and legal challenges to public safety over the last 50 years.
This broad focus on public safety in Canada gives Laurier’s Countering Crime diploma program a comprehensive, sturdy foundation. The focus on historical understanding and the wider scope of public safety will enable you to better identify and grow your role in the bigger picture.
Issues in Contemporary Public Safety
This course focuses on issues in contemporary Canadian and global public safety, including the internal and external forces that are shaping current practices. Designed to better equip you to critically examine current and emerging issues facing public safety professionals, this component of Laurier’s Countering Crime diploma program will enable you to:
- Identify and appraise current and emerging challenges to public safety in the context of national security, border strategies, countering crime, and emergency management, and consider how these can be addressed by public safety research.
- Examine the funding models and financial restraints impacting each of the pillars of Public Safety Canada.
- Recognize and assess the role technological advancements play upon public safety in Canada.
- Critically examine the effectiveness of public safety organizations in Canada relative to domestic and international challenges, including immigration, refugees, racism, professionalization, migration, intercultural diversity, social media, and training.
- Predict and formulate potential solutions related to emerging issues that will face public safety in Canada and abroad.
Pairing a wider, historical understanding of public safety with a deep dive into the most pressing current issues is a key asset of Laurier’s Countering Crime diploma program. This course will give you the distinct advantage of researching, discussing, and problem-solving the real challenges facing public safety professionals with both peers and leading experts.
Intelligence and Evidence-Based Decision Making
This course examines the principles, public policy issues, and barriers that guide the gathering and sharing of intelligence in countering crime and the potential value provided through effective policing strategies and enforcement. With an emphasis on the importance of measuring performance for accountability and evidence-based decision making that marks the Laurier Countering Crime diploma program, this course will enable you to:
- Evaluate existing policing models in relation to their capacity to mobilize intelligence to facilitate effective operations.
- Investigate the strategic integration of intelligence into the overall mission of countering crime organizations to reduce costs, create efficiencies, facilitate a supportive and informed command structure, and promote community engagement and partnerships.
- Create investigative strategies by correlating and analyzing data from disparate sources, then applying the results to anticipate, prevent, and respond effectively to future organized crime.
- Examine international, national, and local collaborative concepts and models between law enforcement, the justice system, and the public stakeholders
- Formulate effective strategies based on performance measures and evidence-based decision-making processes to link operational performance with strategic objectives and outcomes.
- Analyze the potential ethical challenges to gathering and sharing of intelligence resulting from public policy, statutory regulations, and privacy issues.
Identifying and mastering two of the most crucial components of understanding and reducing crime—efficient use of intelligence and effective policing—is one of the distinctions of earning a countering crime diploma from Laurier. These hard skills will enhance your capacity for higher-level gathering and use of intelligence and more efficient and ethical law enforcement.
A countering crime diploma program that empowers a true understanding of the realities and social dynamics of diversity is one of the most effective weapons available in addressing the problem of crime and creating a healthier society. This course offers theoretical and practical skills necessary for identifying social diversity within Canadian communities, as well as the characteristics of those groups that present special needs with respect to policing and public safety. Students build on and expand their ethical capacities and sensitivities to deal with diversity in a proactive and professional manner through studies which enable them to:
- Examine diversity in Canada, including issues related to race, gender, social class, and differentially enabled people, and how these issues are impacted by public safety policies and procedures.
- Examine the evolution of systemic and individual discrimination in Canadian society and how they are reflected in policing organizations.
- Interpret the legal and ethical responsibilities of police personnel and recommend appropriate application of provincial and federal legislation and case law related to diversity issues and human rights.
- Evaluate personal values and assumptions about diversity issues and professional police conduct.
- Formulate and defend responses to changes in demographics and the social environment in order to embrace and implement the necessary strategic and tactical evolutions in policing.
- Debate the relationship between the embrace of diversity and the legitimacy of the police agency.
The goal of all public safety careers is, of course, the protection and well-being of our communities. Laurier’s Countering Crime diploma program embraces that fundamental principle and offers specific education in understanding community demographics and dynamics. You will be ahead of the curve in the public safety space, equipped for innovation and empowered to lead in a new era of addressing crime.