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Change in Career Direction Brings Job Satisfaction

December 17, 2008

After working in a lab for over 20 years, in a position he described as often repetitive, Kevin Salmon is enjoying his new career as a private investigator at GARDA Investigations. Kevin graduated from the Corporate and Commercial Security program now called Investigation and Protection Studies in June 2008. He loves the variety in his new position, never knowing from one moment to the next what the day will hold.

“My function is mainly surveillance, so a typical day for me is on the road somewhere,” said Kevin. “ Most case files are three days long.  My area is primarily from Cobourg to Brockville, and northeast to Ottawa.  I receive a file, review it and get prepped the night before I begin. I need to know exactly where it is I am going, how long it will take me to get there, what activities of the subject I am specifically watching for and the vehicles to look for.  On the first day of any file, we try to be at the subject’s location prior to 6:00 a.m.  That ensures that we will know if they leave early for work and the same applies if they arrive home after a midnight shift. We have no idea when the day will end and our starting time for the next day will be determined by what occurred on day one.  For instance, we never end our surveillance if the subject is out and active.  Anytime the subject exits the residence, we attempt to videotape all activities, follow them wherever they go — documenting everything, as in times, locations, routes and their contact with others. Every file is different.  Some subjects are very active, whereas others may only leave the residence for a few minutes or not at all.  There can be hours spent in our vehicle waiting for the subject, but it is seldom boring because we always have to be aware of what is going on.  When the three days of surveillance are completed, I fill out the report and send it in to the office.  Typically, the only time I go into the office is to hand my videotapes in.

“I was well prepared for my position by the training I received at Loyalist. I think the program’s greatest strength is definitely the faculty.  As a nervous mature student I immediately felt comfortable with everyone. I was always given extra help if I had questions. I was coming into the courses with a different viewpoint as an adult with two teenagers and I was always made to feel that my opinion was welcomed. It worked out perfectly for me.

“To any adult apprehensive about returning to school — Loyalist is perfect.  It is large enough to get the college experience, but small enough that you won’t get lost in the shuffle or become overwhelmed.”

Graduates of the two-year Investigation and Protection Studies program are trained to conduct threat-risk assessments and to audit an organization’s security procedures. They have an in-depth understanding of enforcement procedures, risk management, tort and contract law, and emergency planning. At the same time they develop effective investigative techniques. The rapid growth of the enforcement and investigation sector has created a shortage of qualified personnel which means there is a significant opportunity for advancement in the field.

The Investigation and Protection Studies program offers January and September start dates. For more information regarding the programs available in Loyalist’s Centre for Justice Studies click here.