Dr. Dominic Wood has been at CCCU since 1995. He became Head of the Department of Law and Criminal Justice Studies in 2009. He has led the development of many innovative academic programs in policing. He was a key contributor to the Student Police Officer Handbook published by Oxford University Press (8th Edition currently at press) and has published around different political aspects of policing. He has a research interest focused on the shifting philosophical underpinnings of policing from liberal to democratic principles.
Dr. Wood helped to establish the Higher Education Forum for Learning and Development in Policing. He is the Chair of the Higher Education Forum, which includes representatives from over 20 universities across the UK.
He is a contributor to a collaborative MSc Policing program run in partnership between CCCU and the Police Academy in the Netherlands. Dominic has participated in Skills for Justice working groups and as a member of the National Police Improvement Agency-led Higher Education Steering Group.
His Ph.D. is in the field of philosophy of education. He is a member of the British Society of Criminology and the Philosophy of Education Great Britain Society.
We spoke of the ever-changing state of policing and the value of university/police partnerships.
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[00:00:02.830] - Intro
Welcome to The CopDoc Podcast. This podcast explores police leadership issues and innovative ideas. The CopDoc shares thoughts and ideas as he talks with leaders in policing communities, academia and other government agencies. And now please join Dr. Steve Morreale and industry thought leaders as they share their insights and experience on The CopDoc Podcast.
[00:00:31.130] - Steve Morreale
Well, hello, everybody. This is Steve Morreale coming to you from Boston. And today we have another intercontinental discussion. I say good afternoon to Dominic Wood, dr. Dominic Wood, who is the head of the law school at Canterbury Christchurch University outside of London. Good morning to you, Dominic.
[00:00:46.380] - Dominic Wood
[00:00:47.100] - Steve Morreale
Well, it's morning afternoon, but hello.
[00:00:49.080] - Dominic Wood
Hello. How are you?
[00:00:51.480] - Steve Morreale
I'm fine. So thanks so much for joining. You know that Steve Tong had suggested I get in touch with you. He had worked for you. He's gone to another university. But it's so interesting in my mind for us to understand what's happening on the other side of the pond and some of the things that you're doing and try to wrestle with this thing called policing and the scrutiny that it comes under and yet the importance that policing has in our world. So what I'd like you to do to start is tell us where you're sitting and tell us how long you've been involved in the university and what are the things that you do.
[00:01:22.100] - Dominic Wood
Okay, so I've been at the university now for 27 years. So I originally joined to do a bit of research into looking at police training, see whether or not there could be some form of accreditation. So the university at that time delivered a qualification, a teaching qualification for police trainers. And as part of that work, they would get to observe a lot of the training that was going on and felt that a lot of that learning that was going on wasn't being captured or recognized. Outside of the immediacy of that. My job was just to spend five months going around the different police training centers, speaking to police trainers, looking at the materials. And on the basis of that, I wrote a paper for the university which outlined what I thought was the potential really to start recognizing some of that learning, finding ways of capturing the learning. It's always been a sort of challenge, knowing whether somebody knows what they're supposed to know. And I think the assessment side of things was always probably the weakest aspect of the training side of things, but also looking for gap and looking for things that perhaps weren't covered in the training.
[00:02:25.110] - Dominic Wood
So on the basis of that, I put some suggestions down, and I had my position at the university extended for a further year to work with some other colleagues to put those ideas into practice and to develop them into programs. And we developed effectively, a six-year program as a part time program, but where we had an assumption of 50% of that being recognized in terms of what police officers were already doing.
[00:02:49.220] - Steve Morreale
So we call that prior learning assessment. Is that similar?
[00:02:52.340] - Dominic Wood
Yeah. So the names of these change over time. So at the time, we had accredited prior learning or accredited by experiential learning, and we were trying mainly using the experiential learning. So even when someone had been through the initial training package, the fact was that the way it was presented didn't have the assessment rigor embedded within it. We would work with the officers, we do some additional sessions, but not too much, but we do some additional sessions that really drew out the learning from that. And it was done on a voluntary basis. We worked closely with Kent police at the time, and I would go up to the training center, every new cohort, and I would stand in front of the group and do a bit of a presentation about it. And at the time, it was always a mixed kind of response that I would get, and we'd get quite low numbers really taking that on, but a lot of support from the senior officers. And so I was constantly trying to push this and to work with the senior officers in terms of getting way to embed this more and make it to be seen more as a normal thing, as a routine thing, because I think it was always difficult, it was always a difficult sell to somebody if the organization was to do this.
[00:04:06.070] - Dominic Wood
Yeah, you can have a level of support that's saying, I think this is a good idea to do, but if you're not saying you have to do this still, that sensible. Why don't I don't have to do it? It can't be that important. And at the time, Kent Police were very forward thinking and we're very keen. The Chief Constable at the time was Sir David Philip, who the real architect around intelligence led policing. So Kent Police at the time was.
[00:04:27.150] - Speaker 2
Really where a lot of
[00:04:27.940] - Steve Morreale
Like the incubator for it?
[00:04:29.810] - Dominic Wood
Absolutely. And there were some key people from Kent Police who were seconded to the Home Office to develop that idea of intelligence. They're policing more wide and spread it out. Yeah. But as a key part of that, Sir David Phillips always talked about the idea of having this body of knowledge and that he felt a police officer should be able to access that body of knowledge. And it was important that research and data was collected and officers had access to that in a routine way. So I think we were very fortunate that the timing of it and the proximity of Kemt police to where we are, we are the universities in Kent, so they were our local Kent Police is a sort of mid-range in terms of size. It's not one of the big forces, it's not one of the Metropolitan police, obviously, is a quarter of all the officers in England, West Midlands, Greater Manchester, a big forces. But Kent is one of the next sort of band really around about 3000 officers any one time. So it was a reasonable size for us as well. And so we started to develop that idea and we kind of always had it as a starting point, was an engagement with the same as a subject and trying to develop it beyond just being a law program or a criminology program.
[00:05:39.900] - Dominic Wood
We wanted to try and really get into thinking of policing as a subject in its own right and what that would look like. The people that we had designing it and working on it, we're not necessarily from law or criminology background.
[00:05:53.700] - Steve Morreale
So Dominic, I interrupted you. But one of the things I have so many things I'm writing down because so many people are listening to us from the UK, from Ireland, from New Zealand, from Australia, but many from Canada and the United States. And certainly you are aware that we do things differently. We don't have a police college like they have them in Canada and certainly they have them in Ireland and they have them in Northern Ireland and in the UK. What I'm curious for you to explain is you serving as the head of the law school is confounding to many people because our law schools are separate and distinct. They're not criminology focused, they're law focused. So it sounds like many schools in the UK or in Europe sort of take this law school approach and weave criminology and criminal justice into it. Is that true?
[00:06:39.840] - Dominic Wood
That does happen, but that's not the history that we have. So the school that I am the head of is the head of the school of law, Policing and social science. But the law side of it came later. So when we first started the program we were actually part of the education faculty and there was a department of what's called post compulsory education. So that's education beyond formal schooling. And one of the main programs that they delivered in that school was teaching training to people outside of school.
[00:07:10.710] - Steve Morreale
Like our continuing education.
[00:07:12.990] - Dominic Wood
Absolutely. So that's where we start. And I think we always had a bit of an educational photo in terms of developing that understanding of police. There was at the heart of it an educational understanding and it was about thinking about that dimension. But we started to involve other people. We had a former chief superintendent from Kent Police who recently retired, who came in. He also got a master's in business studies. So he bought a kind of the professional policing experience but also thinking of policing as a business. How that manifested itself? We did have somebody that was a lawyer, a legal background. My own background was more a kind of political philosophy side of things. And I was always struck by the fact that I studied politics at a university and never really mentioned the police at all. The police were just not on the curriculum and that seemed to be an odd thing that policing is such a political thing, that the notion of the police officers, the street corner politician, the police do have that power and impact on societal change. They are there to do things. So it felt to me that formerly the criminal justice system and all the different processes are so key to understanding any sort of political debate.
[00:08:23.370] - Steve Morreale
And the police are important.
[00:08:24.720] - Steve Morreale
Well, they are. And one of the questions was when you began to answer, what would have drawn you towards policing? That explains it. One of the things I'm starting to do and write on is something that somebody threw me a curveball. So you're talking about some things that I started to be engaged in because someone said, hey, are you interested in doing this? And as a scholar you say, I don't know much about it, but yeah, I'm interested in it. It sounds like that's what you did. Right.
[00:08:44.710] - Dominic Wood
It was fascinating for me because suddenly I was looking at things that haven't really been looked at very much from a political perspective and there was so much there. It's really interesting. Particularly, I think my interests have always been on the moral philosophy side of things as well. The idea of justice here, of right and wrong and those things, liberty, these were the things that really interest policing, is really at the heart of all of that. So that was my sort of dimension. But one of the colleagues that I work most closely with, Professor Robin Bryant, who is still at the university part of the school, he's a pure mathematician by trade and so he brought a kind of science mind to things and that sort of technical side of things, but also with a real sort of charity from that mathematical training kind of thing we always used to joke about. If we did sessions, my sessions would invariably, no matter what the subject was, we'd end up discussing legitimacy, whatever he was studying, with a chalkboard with numbers on it.
[00:09:42.480] - Steve Morreale
Well, that's interesting because two things what I started to say was that I'm looking at social political risk of police and I think that they are so intertwined and yet we are trying to keep police out of politics. But that's impossible. There's so many things the society rails up because they don't like something that they saw if something happened, the George Floyd incident that brewed over into Europe and saying, well, our police may be doing the same thing. So that social political risk and helping people who are in leadership understand you cannot avoid the risk of social political. You have to figure out how to maneuver through it. But I want to ask this look, the policing industry is a very suspicious group of people. They're not always looking fondly on academics, on scholars who they see come from an ivory tower and are going to tell us how to do our job when they've never done the job. And obviously for me, I see myself not as an academic but a pracademic, because I've done it for an awful long time. But I also know, and please correct me if I am wrong, that a lot of the European college experience can be quite passive, if you understand what I'm saying.
[00:10:49.290] - Steve Morreale
I'm the professor, I'm going to tell you what you need to know. You're going to regurgitate it once in a while, I'll ask you what you think about it, but there's not as much active learning. Did you have to adopt a more active learning process when taking some of the teaching assessment to what we call it, the academies, to the police training?
[00:11:06.720] - Dominic Wood
Yeah, I think in many ways, from my own personal view, it's been a fantastic journey, not only understanding policing better, but actually a standing university education. And I think that what probably started as something that was not necessarily thought through, but more just happened that you deliver a session to the police officers, it's not going to be passive, you're going to get interrupted, you're going to get told that's wrong, you're going to get told that this isn't happening there. And you challenge constantly and it was a great experience. I would come out of a two-hour session with a group of police officers feeling absolutely elated and tired at the same time.
[00:11:43.180] - Steve Morreale
Mentally fatigued, because you're on your feet, you're being challenged all the time.
[00:11:47.100] - Dominic Wood
Right, absolutely. And so it is fantastic. And then I would also be teaching other groups and I would be trying to generate that kind of energy and just not succeeding because we'd adopted an approach, really, which we started with kind of initial police training, so working with the people, with the new recruits and trying to embed learning into that process. We then develop that into a degree program where experienced officers could be doing a program on a part time basis while they were still in employment. And then we introduced, I think we were in the first university to introduce what we call a pre joined police officer. So this was for 18 year old interested parties? Absolutely. They want to become police officers. And I think it was one of the things that we recognized, that the average age of police officers a lot higher than we thought it was going to be. The police were not tending to recruit people at 18. They were telling them to go away for two or three years and get a bit of life. So we thought they might as well come and join us and learn about policing and get some experience.
[00:12:42.550] - Dominic Wood
We would arrange things with police so they could get some experience. So we've got a kind of three strategy there. We've got the initial group, we've got the experienced officers and we've got wannabes.
[00:12:51.720] - Steve Morreale
I was just going to say wannabes is my word.
[00:12:53.540] - Dominic Wood
Yes, absolutely. You did not get the energy from the way that you did from the experiences. It was completely different. And I think over time I started to realize that what we were doing with the police officers and that sort of energy of learning is what we need to try and work on with all of our learning. At the university, we've just got a new building that we've just introduced and when we were designing it, we really wanted to make it a place where things happen. It's a doing place and that people learn through doing. And for me that's really important. We've got a hydra suite in there, we've got adjusted suite, we've got cells in there, we've got custody, custody area interview rooms. But the whole point is to try and create this sense of activity and the point being that if people are doing something meaning the learning stays so much better.
[00:13:43.170] - Steve Morreale
Well, it's applied learning for sure. And it sounds like it's problem-based learning. I want to ask how important you think. So you're talking I'm lucky to be affiliated with the Garda College and with the University of Limerick and I'm actually heading over there in another month. And what I found so fascinating and so much different than in America was the requirement of officers in between. In other words, you've just come out of school, you're on the street, you're going to go back to school later on. But the power of reflection and building portfolios and getting that higher-order thinking and critical thinking skills, they may not be ready for it, as you say, as a recruit, but shortly thereafter they are. So my sense is in order for you to survive all of these years, you had to build up a tremendous level of trust right. But in terms of reflection and even the term pedagogy versus andragogy can we talk about that?
[00:14:35.610] - Dominic Wood
Yeah, I think for me andragogy becomes good pedagogy, really we started with the focus on angry as a methodology for that program. As I said, I think the more that we engage, the more you start to think why aren't we doing this with the 18 year old? Why aren't we? I know I remember once interviewing for a new post and we were just getting someone to outline towards how they would structure course or something. And what they articulated really clearly was just the theory, theory, theory, and then you can apply theory. And for me, there are a few people in the world who learn in that way and they are mostly academic and the mistake academics they make is to think that everybody else. And when we think of the role of the university when I left school, I think it was like 6% of people carried on in school and beyond the age of 16. We're moving much more now to the sense of going to universities than north and it's an expectation what we have to recognize in that is that we're no longer dealing with that 600 people who learn in that way.
[00:15:35.390] - Dominic Wood
So we have got to adapt what the University is and the University has to become different in that way.
[00:15:40.530] - Steve Morreale
Excuse me for interrupting again, but by the way, we're talking to Dominic Wood and he is the head of Law, the law school at Canterbury Christ Church outside of London. But it strikes me that by going out to, if you'll pardon the expression, the real world and seeing what works in public service training, is it not natural that you would try to bring it back to modify the way we teach and the way people learn at the University?
[00:16:05.580] - Dominic Wood
Absolutely. I think that when you see the opportunities for learning through the workplace, that becomes a real eye-opener. And the most recent development that we've had in the UK is the introduction of the police constitute degree apprenticeship. And so in the UK, the College of Policing quite bravely moved from effectively a position in the UK where you didn't need qualification at all to become a police officer to effectively making it an all degree professional. And there are three entry into the police. You can either do a pre join accredited policing program, you can do what's called a degree holder entry program we've already got a degree. Or you can join as a police constable degree apprenticeship program. We as a University, work as part of a consortium with the University of Middlesex, university of Portsmouth and the University of Cumbria and we have contracts with Surrey and Sussex Police and with Hampshire and we run those programs for them. When you look at those programs and the way they're struck, they are working directly integrated programs. There is an expectation that you find those learning opportunities in the workplace. The learning is really direct to their practice and that the line manager is aware of their learning and things that they are doing and learning and how that can be applied and how their work can be directed around that and just expectations and understanding of things that are not necessarily part of the curriculum.
[00:17:28.990] - Dominic Wood
So things like safeguarding. So safeguarding is a really key part of apprenticeship programs, irrespective of the sub and an understanding of that and understanding of people's wealth. We've talked to the University a lot more generally about an approach to developing the whole person rather than just teaching somebody a subject or developing the whole person. And I think that's something that sounds like what does it actually mean when you start to look at those issues around safeguarding, around wellbeing, a lot of times these are people that are in danger situations, they might be vulnerable in different ways and having an engagement with the full person in that way is really important. When you look at those degree apprenticeship programs, I look at those and I think that is the future direction of all degree programs. There is much more of a sense or I think more degree program will become like that. The expectations behind I think that the journey that we have been on is a journey that has taken us from somewhere where universities and certain assumptions and I think the direction we're going is the direction that university life is moving. So the university is changing through engagement with programs like the ones we have been running for the police.
[00:18:36.080] - Dominic Wood
And it's not just policing, it's happening in other areas.
[00:18:39.110] - Steve Morreale
I just did something with public managers and that you have to approach it in a different way, but public management and leaders are dealing with people. And so there's the Common Core. I have a question. When you go to Kent Police Training Institute is at the Kent Police College.
[00:18:52.940] - Dominic Wood
The Kent Police have not been there for a while.
[00:18:55.440] - Steve Morreale
Where do people get trained?
[00:18:56.890] - Dominic Wood
They do call them different things, so sometimes they will still be called the Training Center. With Kent Police, it used to change its name at different times. And I'm trying to there was one, it was the center for Investigative Training at one point.
[00:19:08.710] - Steve Morreale
Okay, so you I want to know is, take me through this. So you're in essence, coming to the Police College, Police Training Center, and you use the term accreditation, and you're looking, you're assessing, you're looking at the curriculum, you're potentially giving some feedback. I would dare say that most of the police trainers are not necessarily college professors. So you're giving that point of view. And once a training regimen is accredited, that means it gets college credit. When you amass enough college credit, you get a degree. Are you the degree-granting organization?
[00:19:40.940] - Dominic Wood
[00:19:41.480] - Steve Morreale
[00:19:41.830] - Dominic Wood
We are. So we have to go through a process with the college of policing. We have to satisfy them as well as the Great Britain.
[00:19:49.870] - Speaker 2
What do they call it? Was it the Peel?
[00:19:51.510] - Dominic Wood
It's the College of Policing. Before it was the College of Policing, it was the National Police Improvement Agency. Before that it was, I think, Centrec. Before that it was the National Police Training.
[00:20:01.560] - Steve Morreale
So this is a singular college of policing that plays a pivotal part of all training.
[00:20:07.380] - Dominic Wood
Yes. And the college of policing was set up in 2012 with a remit to be different from what I've done before. In fact, initially it was set up as an interim body to establish a Royal College of Policing I see as a separate professional body. Ten years on, the college of policing still exists as a body that's funded by the Home Office dominantly. So it's still part of that sort of thing. But the idea is that it has more autonomy than its predecessors, and it is there to establish that notion of professionalism. And as I say, the fact that it introduced what's called the Police Education Qualifications Framework, and it's through that the degrees programs that we talked about, the Pre-Join Program, police Council Degree apprenticeship, the degree holder entry program, those programs have come from the College of Police.
[00:20:54.790] - Steve Morreale
So I presumably they're setting some standards, minimum standards.
[00:20:57.780] - Dominic Wood
They are, yeah.
[00:20:58.040] - Steve Morreale
Okay, and that those who are certified to provide police training must meet that standard.
[00:21:04.400] - Dominic Wood
[00:21:04.760] - Steve Morreale
Is that right?
[00:21:05.600] - Dominic Wood
Yes. And with a degree apprenticeship programs, they have to be done in collaboration through an academic provider as well as a police force.
[00:21:12.920] - Steve Morreale
Right. So that training center or that training college will contract with any number, a university to provide that accreditation and such. Okay, so let's talk about policing as you've seen it come down the pike. You've been at this for 20 some years. What do you see a change? Do you see a professionalizing? Do you think these are multitiered questions and how important is evidence-based policing?
[00:21:37.880] - Dominic Wood
So I think, yes, I've definitely seen a journey there in terms of professionalization. One way of expressing that is I remember when we first used to do those presentations seven years ago, that was a really tough gig. We would sometimes have people being quite rude and you just had to sort of have a strong chin, really, to sort of deep in there. Over time, that really has changed, and we've had a greater percentage of people being genuinely interested and seeing the value of knowledge. And I think sometimes I think one of the ways of winning people over, you don't try and win them over by telling them how to do their job. Because I've never been a police officer, I will always say to the first session is, I sleep better at night knowing that I'm not a police officer. I hate making decisions. I see that as tyranny. But police officers have to make decisions all the time. You don't try by telling them how they should do the job, but you make them aware of research that might be of interest. You make them aware of knowledge that does exist. And I think this is where things like the evidence-based policing comes in.
[00:22:37.300] - Dominic Wood
I did work with Larry Sherman where I was head of a forum, which we got the Higher Education Forum for learning and development in policing. And there was about 20 some universities that were part of that. And that really was about trying to develop a sense of the value of knowledge in policing and understanding policing. And that was around at the same time that Larry Sherman was working with the Society of Evidence-Based Policing. And I think we saw a lot of synergy there in terms of working. I think from my perspective, it's always been trying to broaden that sense of understanding of knowledge. Sometimes I think the evidence-based policing can get a bit narrow in its focus. The college of policing has a sense of what works in policing. And without getting too pedantic, it always seems to me it should be what works, and there should be some qualifications on those understandings, because clearly policing is changing all the time. The context within which policing operates is changing all the time. One of the focus of my published a book a couple of years ago toward ethical Policing, and the focus of that for me is they can't second guess some of these things.
[00:23:38.490] - Dominic Wood
You can't come up with, this will work if you apply this, because the situation will be different, the nuances of those situations that changes. So we need to be able to develop the capacity of police officers to think for themselves, to be able to reason. So for me, policing requires ethical reasoning rather than a code of ethics.
[00:23:57.050] - Steve Morreale
Yeah, it's interesting too. I think in both the UK and Ireland, in many ways, more than the United States, they have a decision-making model, and it's driven through everyone. Here's the minimum standard for making a decision, and just to inculcate that in police officers is extremely helpful. It's a way for them to articulate, you know, what I'm about to say, what did I know, when did I know it, and what did I do once I knew? And it's getting into that sense. Better planning, better decision-making, those kinds of things. So if you had a magic wand or you were king or queen for the day, let's say that you'd be the king. Dominic. But what two or three things would you do to improve policing?
[00:24:40.370] - Dominic Wood
It's interesting that you've talked about training centers and universities and things. For me, one of the important things, and there's something I'm grappling with at the moment, trying to understand how this would manifest itself. But for me, I think we need to be able to create something akin to a university hospital. I'm not sure if you have those.
[00:24:56.190] - Steve Morreale
Well, we talk about learning centers. Yes. Police agencies as training, using the medical model.
[00:25:01.810] - Dominic Wood
Yeah, absolutely. For me, the importance of this is not just that you've got much more than embedded sense of learning being something that's routine and an everyday aspect of the professional work of the police and the academy, but even within the police, between the operations and the learning and develop. So you get that sense. But the other important thing on it is the relationship between the police and the public, because I think we talked earlier about reflective practice, and I think one of the things that gets missed sometimes in reflective practice is that there are three dimensions to reflective practice. There is the reflective practitioner, that the operator, the agent there, and they need to be reflected in that way. But for them to be truly reflective, they need to be part of an organization that is itself reflective and fosters reflection and supports that reflection and has that embedded as part of it as a learning organization. But the third aspect is also that that's understood by the public and the medical. We know that. We know that we can go to a hospital, and that hospital is a university hospital, that there will be research going on there, there will be people training there, all the people learning there, but it's also just functioning in many respects as a normal cost.
[00:26:13.040] - Steve Morreale
It's interesting because I wrote down a 360 degree perspective. If you're reflecting, don't just self-reflect. I mean, that's an important element. But think about how it impacts others, how it doesn't impact the court, how does it impact the schools, how does it impact the town and so on. Who are the stakeholders? All of those things are important. But I remember being in the hospital and I don't know if you've had this experience when you walk in and the doctors coming in and they're making rounds and you're the person in the bed and you're sort of the focal point. And the question is, well, the patient presented himself as this and this and this and John, what do you think? Dominic, what do you think? Steve, what do you think? It's crazy. I mean, there's a living being and they are sort of the test tube, but I think we do too much after action reviews and not enough in the middle of action reviews to say, what do we have? What do we do? I'm seeing you shake your head. So talk about that.
[00:27:01.110] - Dominic Wood
For me, that is the challenge. How do we get the same level of acceptance around that in policing is that we have in medical? Because you say in many respects it feels to me sometimes that if we were trying to introduce that now in medicine that there might be an objection rejection. And I think that's really where there is a challenge. And so I don't think it's going to be as straightforward as being that. I think also the fact that you've got somebody sat in a bed, whereas a lot of policing doesn't happen in that sort of way, you will have the chasing somebody down the street.
[00:27:31.020] - Steve Morreale
It's not so antiseptic, right?
[00:27:33.410] - Dominic Wood
Absolutely. And I think that's where I certainly wouldn't be able to resolve this on my own. And I think this is where you need professionals who really understand the intricacies and the details of the police work and how it does happen. I think through experimentation, I think it's allowing for that permission, really, from society to allow that to normalize that and to be open about that. I think that in itself is a useful exercise just in terms of improving police legitimacy. It's an engagement process.
[00:28:03.500] - Steve Morreale
What I'm hearing you say. And I just wrote down almost suggesting that, why don't we try that as a pilot? Let's see what happens. That's your experiment. Let's tell people this is what we're trying. We may not succeed, but we're going to try. But in the process of trying, we're going to learn new approaches and maybe not the total approach. That part I love. Dominic. We're talking to Dominic Wood and he is sitting in Kent, England. Right now, he is the head of law at Canterbury Christ Church University. And as an outsider, that's become an insider on the inside. In other words, you are welcomed into police training. Is there hope that you see, is there innovation? Are you seeing that there's a willingness of people at the higher ranks to try new things, to move the organization forward, to take chances, calculated risks, if you will? What's your sense of what policing is trying to do that the public may not see?
[00:28:54.490] - Dominic Wood
Yeah, I think there is that willingness and I think what we just touched on there in terms of that experimentation, I think the idea of pilots, I think that's really where we've got to get. I mean, we're working, as I said, through the consortium called the Police Education Consortium. There's ourselves at Canterbury Christ Church University, Middlesex University, Portsmouth University and Cumbria University. We're working with Surrey Police, Sussex Police and Hampshire Police. And when we first started, we secured the contract, we signed the contract and we got together. We had such fantastic meetings early on in terms of vision and what we want to do and that idea of the university station and what that would look like, how would we start to do that? The real challenge then becomes that you've got this treadmill of recruit coming every three, four, five weeks. And the pressures of dealing with that Covid hasn't helped.
[00:29:42.920] - Steve Morreale
No, it hasn't.
[00:29:43.810] - Dominic Wood
Changed everything within a matter of a week. I think it was roughly two years ago now.
[00:29:49.220] - Steve Morreale
It was in March, it was right about now, 19th.
[00:29:54.590] - Dominic Wood
I think the first cohort that we had at our university was with Sussex Police. And on the 16 March 2020, that was the start date, I was doing a welcome to the 70 recruits, new recruits, and we had a whole thing scheduled for that week. And as I was talking, things were changing and getting canceled and rearranged and we got through half of that weed and then everything had to be redesigned, reworked, and that has been a massive distraction and there's been so much firefighting, and I think it's the firefighting that just stopped that innovation from happening. This is true in most walks of life. So I think it is about trying to secure, build that trust and security around an experiment of innovation. Let's do something here. We had one to look at. Investment in terms of thinking about a physical state is neither a police station nor a university center nor a training center, but it is a hybrid place in that way. There is pleasing going on there, but there is also space for learning and that sense of that being a normal thing. And as you said at the start, not a passive kind of learning, it's not a lecture business, but learning is going on and that's something that is still on my agenda, it's still something that I want to push, but it is sort of finding the base, both physical, intellectual, emotional, and just the energy to be able to do that alongside meeting all of those operational challenges and just keeping the treadmill turning and keeping people on there without falling off.
[00:31:24.810] - Steve Morreale
So we have to wind down. But there are a couple of things that I'd like to ask of you. What do you do and where do you go to get information, to do research, if you will, outside of policing, that you can adapt and bring into policing? In other words, what are you reading besides law and social justice things and policing things? Where else do you find literature?
[00:31:48.490] - Dominic Wood
That's a good question. I'm not the most avid reader that way. I feel that I spend so much time reading students work. A PhD thesis draft is a lot of work.
[00:32:00.750] - Steve Morreale
It's painful, especially the first couple of iterations.
[00:32:05.190] - Steve Morreale
Right? Like, what the hell are they writing? Right? But go on, professor.
[00:32:09.240] - Dominic Wood
So I do find sometimes I do devour box set. I find sometimes that stepping outside and thinking more about yourself as a person first and foremost, and thinking of the human dimension, I find that quite inspiring in a way. And I think that's the thing that I think keeps my mind fresh and stops it from just being too narrow and a focus on something that's very internal. I think that's one of the problems sometimes with the academic world. The first time you go to a conference, you're really excited, and then you're doing your paper to six people. Four of those people are doing the paper at the same time.
[00:32:44.450] - Steve Morreale
Yes, there are terms that I use at that, and I'll speak to that afterwards. But it is frustrating. Here's a question and experience that I've had very often, academia being academia, and we get along, we coexist, but we're really independent contractors in a lot of ways. Right. You do your stuff, I do my stuff. Once in a while, we talk in a faculty meeting. Off we go. That my sense, is that in many cases, we are so much more welcomed and almost listened to by a police agency when we show a two-way dialogue. What are you thinking? This is what I'm thinking. How can we help? You're not able to do that as much on campuses, but you can do it externally. Is that your feeling?
[00:33:21.420] - Dominic Wood
Yes. I always try and start with a sense of recognition, recognize what they're already doing. And we're not here just to tell you what you need to do. And also reward for that you are already doing things you already know. So the first step in all of this is capturing that.
[00:33:38.000] - Steve Morreale
So we're talking to Dominic Wood, and he is the head of law school at Canterbury Christ Church in Kent, England, outside of London. We were able to talk to him for a good period of time, 40 minutes. But unfortunately we lost connection through Internet, had some unstable internet, so we'll get back to him with a second round. But I want to thank you for listening and hope you will listen in to other episodes. Stay tuned. We're doing very well, I must say. So happy that we're hitting the top 40 in some countries, including Ireland and England, and in the top 150 in Canada and the United States, and doing quite well in New Zealand and Australia. So thank you all for listening to The CopDoc Podcast. We'll be back with another episode soon. Take care. All the best.
[00:34:25.610] - Outro
Thanks for listening to The CopDoc Podcast with Dr. Steve Morreale. Steve is a retired law enforcement practitioner and manager turned academic and scholar from Worcester State University. Please tune into The CopDoc Podcast for regular episodes of interviews with thought leaders in policing.