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School of Criminology director Rob Gordon

School of Criminology director Rob Gordon

Fall'07: police studies

January 25, 2007

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SFU's celebrated School of Criminology is about to gain a new dimension, and a second home, when its police studies program debuts at the Surrey campus next September.

While the school already offers a number of policing courses at the Burnaby campus, the concentration of these courses in one program is new, says director Rob Gordon.

The program will focus on such issues as community policing, police management, and ethics and accountability. In the first two years, undergrads are introduced to a broad swath of policing issues, while upper-division courses hone in on specific topics such as restorative justice, and eventually, more specialized subjects including criminal profiling.

"We believe there is a real need for this program," says Gordon. "Police departments across the province are interested in upgrading their education requirements. This is an underdeveloped area, and the demand has not been met in any comprehensive way."

The school currently offers three options. At the undergraduate level, students can concentrate on police studies as part of a major or minor in criminology. A post-baccalaureate diploma appeals to those who want to augment a prior degree or improve their qualifications for police work.

There will also be a non-credit certificate, offered through Continuing Studies. This option is likely to appeal to serving police officers as an accessible means to upgrade their skills.

In addition to its undergraduate offerings, the school is planning a master's program in justice system management, also at the Surrey campus, in September, 2008.

Already there is tremendous interest in this program, Gordon reports.

Why is the police studies program being offered at SFU Surrey, rather than Burnaby? "Surrey offers a unique opportunity to reach out to new communities of interest," he says.

"We expect this program to attract students not only from Greater Vancouver but throughout the Fraser Valley."

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