Like many kids, Ramandeep Randhawa grew up wanting to be a police officer.
For much of his life, though, he was also overweight.
That has changed for the better, he says, with much thanks to his instructors at the Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC).
As a teenager, Ramandeep attended a youth cadet program and the New Westminster Police Department Student Police Academy which helped him confirm he wanted to work in law enforcement. He set about working towards his goal by spending two years studying criminology at a local university.
Then he learned about JIBC’s Law Enforcement Studies Diploma (LESD) program, and how it is specifically geared towards those interested in policing and other law enforcement careers.
When he started the LESD program over four years ago, he weighed 325 pounds. By the time he graduated with a Bachelor of Law Enforcement Studies (BLES) four years later, he had lost 125 pounds.
His instructors put him on a simple diet plan and workout routine and kept him accountable.
“They went above and beyond,” Ramandeep said. “They actually care and want to see you be successful.”
[The instructors] went above and beyond. They actually care and want to see you be successful
That constant support of his instructors meant a lot to him, he said, noting that he is now able to pass the Peace Officers Physical Abilities Test (POPAT) with a time that is almost four minutes faster than when he first tried it.
“From where I’ve come to now, I’m confident I can improve even more.”
Upon completing his two-year LESD, he decided to continue for an additional two years to earn the BLES degree.
The BLES program was developed to give students an education that helps address the growing complexity of law enforcement, and to enable graduates to become sought-after candidates in the highly competitive recruitment process.
Its courses built upon what he had already learned, adding courses in financial management, labour law and organizational behaviour which will be useful as he progresses in his career.
“The BLES program definitely assisted me in the recruitment process by providing valuable background knowledge and information about policing,” said Ramandeep. “Many of my instructors provided insight into contemporary issues police officers face in the course of their duties. That was very helpful in the selection process.”
Since graduating, he has served as a Bylaw Enforcement Officer for the City of North Vancouver and the City of New Westminster. He also works as a special constable with a local police agency.
His education has already proven useful, he said. For instance, the conflict resolution skills he learned help him de-escalate the situation when he gives someone a ticket and they’re not happy about it.
“Through my current roles, paired with the education I have received thus far, I am confident I will be successful in reaching my goal of becoming a full-fledged police constable.”
UPDATE: Congratulations to Constable Randhawa who returned to JIBC for Police Academy training after he was hired as an officer recruit for Metro Vancouver Transit Police!
Applications are being accepted for the Bachelor of Law Enforcement Studies program at JIBC's New Westminster campus. For details, please visit www.jibc.ca/bles.