ALUMNI @ Work

Photos by Bernard Clark

Tosha Weston. Police Foundations, 2014 grad, is blazing a new career as the latest Gananoque Police Service Constable.

You recently joined the Gananoque Police Service, although you had offers from larger forces.  What is the best part of working with the Gananoque Police Service?

There is so much that drew me to Gananoque; not only is it close to home, but it’s a police service that offers so many opportunities. With Gananoque being such a small police service there’s not a lot of chances for specialization, however as a front line officer there’s more responsibility. We have the opportunity to do everything; we see cases from the initial call through the investigation, to preparing the court brief. In a small town you really get to know and be known in the community, which I have found to make policing so rewarding.

How did your time at SLC prepare you for this position?

The Police Foundations program was amazing, I have nothing but good things to say about it, it prepared me for every step of the hiring process, from the Applicant testing phase to the interviews. Then after you are hired has police constable in the province of Ontario you are sent to Ontario Police College, where you learn about the application of law and the physical aspect of policing. Having taken the Police Foundation program through SLC, I found the majority of the program to have been a review, it made it so much easier to understand the material in a practical setting. In working I have found that the knowledge based learning I received through the college has allowed me to focus on the application side, which can’t be taught in school.

What's the one class you wished you paid more attention to while at the College (or that you didn't truly appreciate until leaving?)

While I was in school I found the Community Policing course to be trivial and I really didn’t appreciate it until having spent time on the job. It’s all about being able to identify problems within a community and develop solutions that police can implement to work towards rectifying that problem. Now working as a police constable I have come to understand the importance of the course and understanding the options available to police to better the community. Community policing is a part of the job we do everyday, it may not be as formalized as it was sitting in the class room, but its important to understand how what we do can have such a huge impact on the community.

What is the one piece of advice you would give to current students or a new graduate?

Stay motivated! Policing is a hard career to get started in, but is so rewarding once you do. It can be a long hiring process for some people, others like myself it can be quick, either way you have to be motivated to want to continue to better yourself, to better prepare yourself for the career. This goes for current students as well, school can seem long but it’s so worth it if you can push yourself to do well, stay focused on the goal you have set for yourself.

Where do you see yourself five years from now?

Answering this question was so much easier a year ago, I feel like I have achieved the biggest goal I have set for myself already. At this point I feel that in five years I would like to be working and learning as much as I can. School is something I have always been passionate about; I love learning so I plan on taking every opportunity to learn more to better myself in my career. There are courses through the Ontario Police College that I would love to take and some through SLC that I would love to take as well.


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