Calgary Police Commission awaiting review completion in CPS relationship with unaccredited U.S. college


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The Calgary Police Service will have no further affiliation with any unaccredited college in California while the department continues an investigation into its past relationship with the institute.

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The Calgary Police Commission said CPS was conducting an internal review of its relationship with the College of Certified Psychophysiologists after local media reports raised questions about the credibility of the institution.

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A statement from the commission on Wednesday said it had begun addressing the relationship during a private meeting and confirmed that CPS severed ties with the college on Aug. 31 after it was revealed three staff members had completed one Police Health Certificate, 16 members attended a two-day critical incident stress debriefing course and two staff members had enrolled in degree programs. Another CPS member should be awarded an honorary doctorate.

The CPS paid about $30,000 for the college’s education, the commission said.

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“We continue to have serious questions about how the service ended up paying for employees to earn degrees from an unaccredited college, especially when there is a policy prohibiting it,” said commission chairman Shawn Cornett. “Unfortunately, this incident has raised doubts among some staff about the quality of the mental health support available to them. We need to get to the bottom of what happened and restore trust in the system as soon as possible so that employees continue to seek that support when they need help.”

The commission said in the statement that there is a CPS policy in place that requires in-house specialists to review all training programs members sign up for. An employee must create a learning plan that outlines the reasons why they should enroll in the training, what courses they should take, and how they relate to CPS business needs. This plan must be approved by a manager.

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Michael Dunn, a CPS spokesman, said the service suspended all ties with the college after a special meeting with the Police Commission. He said any instruction officers received were an addition to the skills and training that members had already received.

He said anyone providing mental wellbeing and direct care to officers would need training from recognized schools and meet the ethical requirements of national bodies. He said members of the Wellness and Resiliency Division of the services have at least a master’s degree in a clinical field and are in good standing with relevant professional membership organizations.

“CPS’ affiliation with the CCP should not discredit the qualifications of the staff who directly serve our members,” Nunn said. “CPS has one of the most comprehensive wellness and resilience programs in Canadian law enforcement, if not the most comprehensive.”

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Nunn said CPS consulted with the director of law enforcement, who told the police service to ensure no college material entered service programs. He said an investigation would determine whether there had been any wrongdoing by CPS members and that the service would have no further dealings with the college.

Decisions on further action will be taken by CPS and the Commission after the review is completed.

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