Reviewing Special Constable Services


In July, Laurier shared a report containing recommendations that were presented in the external review of the Special Constable Service (SCS).  

“That review was enacted to look at our special constables and make a decision if there were things that we could improve the act,” Ivan Joseph, Vice President of Student Affairs at Wilfrid Laurier University, said. 

Reviewing the SCS is part of the university’s Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Indigeneity Action Plan in order to strengthen the way SCS supports people who identify as Black, Indigenous, racialized or part of the 2SLGBTQQIA+ community. 

“[The purpose] was to look at our services and to make sure that we were serving our students, our faculty, our staff and our community as best we could,” Joseph said.  

In a previous external review of the SCS conducted by three experts, there were different recommendations made for the SCS in terms of racial justice and community policing.  

“We struck a committee made of faculty, staff, students, the Indigenous vice provost, the black Equity, Diversity and Inclusion vice provost, and went through every single one of the recommendations and decided which ones could we decide to move forward with,” Joseph said. 

The comprehensive recommendations which can be seen in the report include the following: reallocating resources and funding to better serve the students at Laurier; increasing proactive campus engagement and relationship building; conducting a review specific to the Brantford campus; re-defining hiring and the job description of the SCS (as well as increasing hiring of equity-denied individuals).  

It also includes reviewing the SCS uniform to ensure that SCS understand barriers that the law enforcement uniform presents to Laurier’s community; increasing community partnerships; increasing mental health training, gender violence training and cultural safety training; implementing different problem-solving models for SCS; implementing a student program to support student safety and wellness. 

Regarding the allocation of resources, the purpose is to ensure that adequate funding is provided to areas that support community safety, gender violence support, anti-oppression, anti-racism and cultural safety training. 

“If we could partner with our mental health unit, what might that look like for them to be more involved in delivering some of the services that typically our Special Constables might deliver? So that would mean investing in them,” Joseph said. 

All Laurier community members are encouraged to review the recommendations and email regarding any questions as a phased-in implementation is scheduled to begin January 2023 and be complete in the fall. 

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