Graduating from the Police Studies program at Assiniboine Community College in 2009 has led to a varied and satisfying career for Brandon Police Service Constable Alice Potter.
Potter has moved around within the Brandon Police Service, believing every experience adds to her knowledge and helps her achieve her long-term career goals.
“I started specializing in traffic. I obtained my Traffic Collision Analyst level three and forensic mapping. Up until two weeks ago, I was the only current member reconstructing all fatal and serious collisions within the city,” she said.
Furthering her training, Potter became an instructor in many traffic areas including Radar, Laser, Alco-Sensor FST users and calibrators. “Traffic is a passion for me,” Potter said with a smile.
Potter also became a drug-recognition expert, to identify drivers who are impaired because of drugs.
“With the new legislation, impaired driving by drugs is becoming a scary reality.” Potter obtained her training in Phoenix, Arizona, which she indicated was a phenomenal experience, even though the course was very demanding.
In December, Const. Potter made another move, leaving the training unit where she looked after the Brandon Police Service’s training needs for all sworn and non-sworn members and became the school resource officer for the 18 Kindergarten to Grade 8 schools in the Brandon School Division.
Potter is looking forward to her involvement with young people.
“I think it’s important in your police career to try different units, try different sections. Once you become comfortable, move on. Try something new. And build your knowledge base.”
Seven of her classmates are now her colleagues at the Brandon Police Service.
Graduates of Assiniboine’s Police Studies program are spread across Manitoba, including Ste. Anne, Morden, Winkler, Victoria Beach, Rivers Police and Manitoba First Nations Police Service, formerly the Dakota Ojibway Police Service (DOPS.)
Potter runs into many other program grads working in other aspects of law enforcement.
“Every time I step into the court office, many of the sheriffs I see have gone through the Police Studies program. There are tons of corrections officers and security officers. The security officers that look after Assiniboine Community College are Police Studies graduates. Parole officers. Anything you can think of that has to do with law enforcement. Just because they don’t go into a police agency, doesn’t mean they aren’t a success story for the program,” she said.
She credits the Police Studies program with giving her the skills she needed to succeed in her career, especially the scenario-based training.
Since Potter’s time, Police Studies has added a use-of-force simulation lab to make the scenarios even more realistic.
Potter has come back as the Police Studies Drill Instructor for each new batch of students since then, and she designs a special memorized precision drill sequence for their graduation.
“I am a huge advocate for education and continuing your education. Keep learning,” she said. “At some point, if you want to instruct academically in the police world, having a degree is probably something that’s going to be needed.”
Potter’s career ambitions include a police secondment to Assiniboine Community College as the Police Studies program instructor. “Give Police Studies a try. It’s not for everyone, but everyone who graduates will forever hold that sense of pride marching in that final parade with their squad.”