Sociology Assistant Professor Timothy Bryan recently spoke on TVO's current affairs program The Agenda on the topic of educational requirements for policing.
The segment, hosted by Steve Paikin, featured Bryan, alongside Gregory Brown, former police officer and Carleton University adjunct professor and Mark Baxter, the president of the police association of Ontario. Professors Bryan and Brown contended against the provincial government’s goal to reduce the education requirements for becoming a police officer. Baxter argued in favour of reducing requirements to increase the career accessibility of police work.
Bryan’s arguments centred on the need for rigorous training that a university education can provide to prepare someone to meet with a wide variety of potential police-community encounters. Bryan’s research as an academic in socio-legal studies focuses on the intersection of police and community, with particular emphasis on racially and culturally informed intervention strategies aimed at improving relations. During the segment, he expressed his skepticism and concern about this upcoming change in educational requirements, citing existing data that suggests better-educated officers perform better in all aspects of the job: “They’re better colleagues, they have better interactions with the community. They’re in a position to really address the public safety concerns that many communities have.”
The full discussion on The Agenda can be accessed online through the University of Toronto’s archive portal.