The University of New England and Western Australia Police (WA Police) have signed a collaborative agreement that will enable senior police officers from Western Australia to enrol in a Professional Doctorate program at UNE.
Three senior WA Police officers have already submitted their applications to enter the program.
“The Professional Doctorate for Industry/Professions is a unique award that combines online coursework with an applied research project that will make a significant contribution to practice in the workplace,” said Professor Graham Webb, UNE’s Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic). “The research projects will be jointly supervised by a UNE academic and advisers from WA Police and the judiciary.”
Professor Webb and Professor Victor Minichiello, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean of UNE’s Faculty of The Professions, met the WA Police Commissioner Dr Karl O’Callaghan, Assistant Commissioner Gary Dreibergs, and senior WA Police staff members in Perth earlier this month to sign the agreement.
Dr O’Callaghan said it was an excellent opportunity for senior police officers to add to the body of police knowledge, and that it represented a new direction in the professionalisation of policing.
“WA Police is very keen for senior officers at the level of Inspector and above to undertake high-level professional development linked to research,” Professor Webb said, “and for the development of better ways of offering police services”. He explained that the research project could include topics such as the development of an innovation, an impact evaluation of the innovation, or an evaluation of the effectiveness of a particular policy on the organisation.
The Vice-Chancellor of UNE, Professor Jim Barber, welcomed the collaboration and said that UNE had a strong and established reputation in delivering online coursework units.
“This program will support the senior police officers who enrol in it by offering online coursework that focuses on developing their creative capacity and know-how, and on developing research skills for evaluating the impact of an innovation in the workplace,” Professor Barber said. “Such collaboration and links with industry are critical to the strategic direction of the University.”
THE PHOTOGRAPH displayed here shows the WA Police Commissioner, Dr Karl O’Callaghan, and Professor Graham Webb after the signing of the agreement.